The Miraculous Interventions of Jizo Bosatsu

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Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 13th century
Ink and color on paper
H x W: 30.5 x 1431.9 cm (12 x 563 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


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

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]


[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)

Samurai Shokai (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919


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. pls. 72-75.
  • 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.
  • 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 (Tateyama Mandala and its Instruction): etoki to shinko no sekai. 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.
  • Zaigai hiho (Japanese Paintings in Western Collections). 3 vols., Tokyo. pp. 86-87, pl. 62.
  • 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, D.C. pp. 104-105.
  • Michiko Hayama. Medieval Age Picture Drawing Scroll: A History of the Human Figure Sleeping. Japan. p. 138-139.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 11, p. 154.
  • 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 ed. Japan. pp.206-207.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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