18th century consecrated Japanese dragon (Ryu) temple carving. Its serpentine body reveals his 3 appendages with classic three claw anatomy. The high relief carving engulfs the dragon in flames. The rendering of the dragon's face exudes power and compassion.
The dragon carving was part of the architectural decoration of a Buddhist temple. It has been sanctified with sutras, located in the dragon's eye during the "Eye Opening Ceremony" (Kaigen-Kuyo). The ritual of venerating an image brings "life to a temple" where it has been invited to reside.
This allows the dragon, which symbolizes the heavenly realm, to have control of rain, fire, and earth. Dragons are the powerful embodiment of yin and yang and are seen as a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people that are worthy.
Hand carved from a single slab of Hinoki (Japanese Cypress).
18th Century Edo Period (1603-1868)
Dimensions: 64" L x 8.5" D x 19" H