Arhat (Hottara Sonja – Vajraputra) (One of a set with F1904.295 through F1904.311)

Artist: Ryōzen (ca. 1328-ca. 1360)
Historical period(s)
Nanbokucho period, mid-14th century
Ink, color and gold on silk
H x W (image): 114 × 59.7 cm (44 7/8 × 23 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Arhat, Buddhism, dragon, halo, Japan, kakemono, Nanbokucho period (1333 - 1392), Vajraputra
Provenance research underway.

This painting comes from a set that depicts the sixteen arhats (rakan in Japanese) who were the original followers of the Buddha in India.  The arhats have attained enlightenment, which has freed them from continuous cycles of birth and rebirth; they remain in the world to protect the Buddhist Law.  For special ceremonies, a painting of the Buddha was displayed at the center of two ranks of eight paintings or arhats.  The arhats shown here are accompanied by a tiger and a dragon, animals that, in East Asian Buddhism, represent cosmic polarities that can be overcome through Buddhist meditation and practice.

Published References
  • Butsuga Ruijyuu. vol. 1, Japan. .
  • Zaigai hiho [(Japanese Paintings in Western Collections]. 3 vols., Tokyo. vol. 2: pt. II, p. 45.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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