Antique Stones Japan

Stone Shomen Kongo Disease Amulet Edo 18 c.

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1800: Item # 1328554

Please refer to our stock # 698 when inquiring.
Antique Stones Japan
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Daikyocho 27
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0015

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Standing Shomen Kongo (lit., Blue-faced Vajrapani) sculpted in relief from a gray-hued igneous stone. Mid-Edo Period ca. 1700. Very minor old loss. Light lichen accumulation and remnants of dried moss.

Height: 48.5 cm
Width: 28.5 cm
Depth: 19 cm

In the Esoteric Buddhist tradition, Shomen Kongo is a fearsome deva believed to protect against disease. With six arms/hands holding various symbolic Esoteric attributes, three eyes of which one is vertical, a monkey-head crown piece, a skull necklace, and a fearsome scowl, this is a classic Shomen Kongo depiction, with one remarkable exception: the round-headed pointy-eared critter poking out from beneath the garment at a point between and above the knees. While such a crotch-critter is neither accounted for in the literature nor typically observed on Shomen Kongo depictions, it is reasonable to assume that it was intended to function as a special amulet against venereal disease.

A thoroughly intriguing rarity with extraordinary presence. Highly collectible.