The Miraculous Interventions of Jizo Bosatsu

View right to left

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 13th century
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 30.5 x 1431.9 cm (12 x 563 3/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1907.375a
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
Buddhism, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), makimono
Provenance

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased through Samurai Shokai, Yokohama, Japan, in 1907 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Makimono List, L. 601, pg. 159, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. See Purchase Details in Accession List, Collections Management Office, which states: "Through Samurai Shokai - during oriental trip 1906-1907." Samurai Shokai was the shop of Nomura Yozo, a dealer who acted as Charles Lang Freer's agent in Japan.

[2] 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
Samurai Shokai (C.L. Freer source) founded 1894

Label

In Japan Buddhist themes were common in early narrative handscroll paintings, which flourished from the late twelfth century.  This handscroll depicts the miracles performed by Jizo, a compassionate bodhisattva (enlightened being). It vividly demonstrates the versatility of the artist in painting people of all social classes with sympathy and realism.  A text precedes the episode shown explaining the story of Jizo's appearance in the dream of a Buddhist priest to demand the performance of a ceremonial dance at the Kasuga Shrine in Nara.  The extraordinary beauty of the dance led to a belief that the Buddhist deity Jizo and the Shinto deity Kasuga Myojin were two forms of the same deity.

Published References
  • Caroline Hirasawa. The Inflatable, Collapsible Kingdom of Retribution: A Primer on Japanese Hell Imagery and Imagination. vol. 63, no. 1 Tokyo. pl. 6.
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 2: pls. 72-75.
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. 2, pp. 86-87, vol. 2, pt. I, pl. 62.
  • Yashiro Yukio. Toyo bijutsu ronko [Studies on Representative Works of Chinese and Japanese art in the United States and Europe]. 2 vols., Tokyo. pls. 45-49.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 11, vol. 2: p. 154.
  • Betti-Sue Hertz. Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia. Exh. cat. San Diego, November 6, 2004 - March 12, 2006. p. 19, fig. 7.
  • Umezu Jiro. Jizo reigenki kaiji shu [Texts from the Various Paintings of the Miracles of Jizo]. Tokyo. pp. 51-57, pls. 3-4.
  • Fukue Mitsuru. Tateyama mandara: etoki to shinko no sekai [Tateyama Mandala and its Instruction]. Tokyo. p. 60.
  • Umezu Jiro. On the Scroll Painting "Jizo engi" in the Freer Collection and its Copies by Tannyu. no. 13 Osaka, March 1954. pp. 61-69, pls. 7-8.
  • Caroline Hirasawa. Hell-bent for Heaven in Tateyama mandara: Painting and Religious Practice at a Japanese Mountain. p. 80, fig. 53.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 100.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington. pp. 104-105.
  • Michiko Hayama. Medieval Age Picture Drawing Scroll: A History of the Human Figure Sleeping. Japan. pp. 138-139.
  • Yashiro Yukio. Scroll Painting "Jizo engi" in the Freer Gallery of Art. no. 76 Tokyo. pp. 155-170, pls. 3-7.
  • Yasuda Tuguo. Nanbokucho-Muromachi Period. History of Japan Series, vol. 7. p. 162.
  • Ikumi Kaminishi. Explaining Pictures: Buddhist Propaganda and Etoki Storytelling in Japan. Honolulu. p. 184, fig. 8.7.
  • The beginning of Samurai World: The history of Japan series. vol. 3, , Juvenile edition. Japan. pp.206-207.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects