Sutra of Incantations for Sustaining the Thunderbolt Life (Kongojumyodarani-kyo)

Three sheets of paper, gold on indigo. With a paulounia wood case and the title, gold plated fan shaped knob, Gin joji bon’s seal on first paper.

A sacred text (sutra) written in gold follows a frontispiece illustrated with a central image of the Buddha preaching to two bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) and two monk-disciples. The scroll, with a brief text describing the recitation of magical formulas (dharani), comes from one of the most ambitious Japanese projects of sutra production, a set of the complete Buddhist canon (Tripitaka). This sutra bears a red seal of the temple Jingoji, where the original set of some five thousand scrolls was kept.

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Historical period(s)
Heian period, 1156-1185
Medium
Gold and silver on indigo-dyed paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 24.1 x 120.6 cm (9 1/2 x 47 1/2 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1985.36a-f
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
Buddhism, Heian period (794 - 1185), Japan, sutra, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Three sheets of paper, gold on indigo. With a paulounia wood case and the title, gold plated fan shaped knob, Gin joji bon's seal on first paper.

A sacred text (sutra) written in gold follows a frontispiece illustrated with a central image of the Buddha preaching to two bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) and two monk-disciples. The scroll, with a brief text describing the recitation of magical formulas (dharani), comes from one of the most ambitious Japanese projects of sutra production, a set of the complete Buddhist canon (Tripitaka). This sutra bears a red seal of the temple Jingoji, where the original set of some five thousand scrolls was kept.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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