Stone depiction of two Jizo Bosatsu figures seated side by side, both with hands in the gassho adoration mudra. Muromachi Period (1392–1568), very possibly earlier. Overall softening of the lines and contours. Excellent lichen accumulation.
Height: 41.1 cm
Width: 31.7 cm
Depth: 11.5 cm.
Dosojin is the Japanese Shinto manifestation of an originally Chinese Taoist deity believed to guard the border between this world and hell. Associated with roads and travel, Dosojin is the deity of mountain passes, crossroads, and village boundaries who obstructs the passage of evil spirits and gods of disease. By the mid-Edo Period ca. 1700, the most commonly observed form of Dosojin is a male and female figure standing or seated side by side. Earlier examples typically feature two Jizo Bosatsu figures--Dosojin's honjibutsu, or Buddhist counterpart, is Jizo Bosatsu--or, less frequently, two Amida Buddha figures standing or seated side by side.
Dosojin stones, having a supposed talismanic as opposed to memorial function, are avidly sought out by collectors of stone in Japan. This example possesses an undeniable expressive force and significant antiquity. Highly collectible.