Stone gorinto (lit. 5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts from an andesitic tuff, a relatively soft stone composed primarily of volcanic ash. Momoyama/early-Edo Period ca. 1600. Minor old loss. Variegated lichen 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 is a relatively small yet handsome example showing a desirable amount of old loss and vivifying pastel-green lichen accumulation.