Gorinto (5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts from a grayish andesitic tuff, a relatively soft stone composed primarily of volcanic ash. Muromachi Period ca. 1500. Minor old loss. Variegated lichen accumulation.
Height: 68 cm
Base width: 31 cm
Base depth: 31 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.
Gorinto sculpted in four parts, the uppermost part comprising two of the five geometric forms, are far more uncommon than gorinto sculpted from a single stone. This is a fine example of type, relatively large-scale and with pleasing formal balance, fully intact and of a piece, and almost certainly dating to the Muromachi Period ca. 1500.