Large hanging scroll with the image of One Thousand 1000 Buddhas of the Past Age. In the center is the Amida Nyorai, Buddha of the Past, surrounded by 1000 small Buddhas. This is the left part of a triptych “Three Thousand Buddhas”, which would show “Thousand Buddhas of the Present” (Shaka Nyorai) and “Thousand Buddhas of the Future” (Miroku Nyorai). Rare subject matter. Ink, mineral colors, gold on silk. Japan, Edo period, late 18th, early 19th century.
Image: 53 x 36 in.
Mounting: 75 x 41 in.
Restorations (creases and cracks backed with paper strips), scuff marks, pigment loss on old creases. All in all excellent condition.
A complete set of all three paintings from the 17th century is in Hoju-in. In that set, Buddha of the Past is represented by Yakushi Nyorai, which is the more usual variant. The paintings were hung during the ritual in which the protection of the buddhas was sought and the extinguishing of sins committed during the year. The ceremony was abolished at the end of the Muromachi period, but is continued, infrequently in some of the very old temples of Japan.