Gorinto (5-tiered stupa) sculpted in one piece from a brownish basalt. Early-Edo Period ca. 1650. Very minor old loss. Variegated lichen accumulation.
Height: 36 cm
Width: 13 cm
Depth: 13 cm
The gorinto is a uniquely Japanese style of stupa comprising five geometric forms, which correspond (from bottom) to earth, water, fire, wind, and ethereal space. The Japanese Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism views the gorinto as a symbol of Dai-Nichi Buddha, who, underlying all things, manifests himself in the five elements making up the physical world.
A relatively small-scale example showing good age and a deferential tilt, depending on one's vantage point.