Stone gorinto (lit. 5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts, the lowermost of which is highly unusual inasmuch as it is columnar rather than rectangular in shape. Clearly dated on the side of the column to the opening year of the Genbun Era (1736), mid-Edo Period. Old line of repair visible on the roof-like part third from the bottom symbolizing fire; otherwise, only very minor old loss, with light lichen accumulation.
Height: 71 cm
Diameter of column: 23.5 cm
Packaged weight: 52 kg.
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. The example offered herein departs radically from the norm owing to the columnar shape of its lowermost part, which in conventional gorinto examples is rectangular.
An intriguingly unconventional gorinto, boasting good size and pleasing formal balance.