Large shrine, zushi, made on special order for a temple. Inside, right in front of the back wall is a silk covered panel. Towards the bottom of the panel, on a gold background, are painted Fugen Bosatsu on his companion the elepahant, and Monju Bosatsu, sitting on the back of his companion the tiger. Above them, set in the center of a red painted circle is a circular crystal reliquary, sitting on a gilt bronze lotus dais, surrounded by gilt bronze flames, forming the wish granting jewel hojugata.
The reliquary has two shelves, filled with various smaller and larger relics of the historical Buddha, Shaka Nyorai. In the back wall of the zushi, behind the reliquary, is a double door, which can be opened to reveal the reliquary or to lighten the reliquary. The sides of the zushi are covered in gold lacquer. The hinges on the doors are decorated with a manji motive on the inside.
The outside of the zushi is covered in black lacquer, with gold lacquer bands around the edges of the doors and following the contours of the roof. In the center of the roof, in gold lacquer a fully opened lotus flower. The golden band along the edges of the doors is decorated with flowers. The hinges on the outside engraved with meandering flower patterns.
Japan, Edo period, 18th century
H ca. 14.5 in.; W ca. 8 in.
Very fine craftsmanship. Few traces of usage, all in all excellent, original condition.
Very rare piece
The reliquary represents the Buddha Shakyamuni; he is flanked by the bodhisattvas Monju and Fugen, forming the Shaka triad. The combination of the wish granting jewel and the relics of the Buddha originates in esoteric Buddhism.