Stone gorinto (lit. 5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts from an andesitic tuff, a relatively soft stone composed primarily of volcanic ash. Muromachi Period ca. 1500. Minor old loss. Variegated lichen and moss accumulation.
Height: 49 cm
Width: 20 cm
Depth: 20 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 small-scale example, fully intact and of a piece, dates to the Muromachi Period.