Tall and shallow zushi or portable shrine with the painting of the Kasuga mandala, mounted on a lotus base. From the saddle of the white deer rises the branch of the sacred Sakaki tree. In the branch is a disc with Buddha Shakyamuni in the middle, surrounded by the bodhisattvas Jizo, Kannon and Monju and Yakushi Nyorai. In the background, above a cloud, Mount Mikasa and the Kasuga shrine and the sun above. Polychromed and gilded wood. Japan, early Edo period, late 17th century.
Height of zushi: ca. 19 ½ inches.
Chips and damages to lacquer on outside. Condition inside excellent. Handwritten label on back: made in Japan.
Belief in the Kasuga deity was popular in the Heian/Kamakura periods, as it links Shinto and Buddhist deities. The worship did continue into the Edo period.