Yaksa form of Vajrapani (Blue Fudo)

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 13th-14th century
Medium
Color and gold on silk panel
Dimensions
H x W (image): 106.5 x 51.1 cm (41 15/16 x 20 1/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1905.97
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Keywords
Akshobhya Buddha, Buddhism, Japan, kakemono, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), vajra, Vajrapani, yaksa
Provenance

To 1905
Yamanaka & Company, to 1905 [1]

From 1905 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1905 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] Undated folder sheet note. Also see Original Panel List, pg. 17, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965

Label

Wielding a vajra, an implement named for its diamond-like hardness, this deity presents a fearsome image intended to dispel evil thoughts and actions. It probably represents Zao Gongen, a deity especially revered by practitioners of Shugendo, a religious order that conducts ascetic practices in the mountains to attain magical powers, especially those for exorcism and healing. Known as yamabushi, practitioners of Shugendo combine practices of esoteric Buddhism with beliefs in mountains as sacred places, a native Japanese idea that preceded and coexisted with Buddhism.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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