Artist: Kaikei (active ca. 1185-1220)
Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, early 13th century
Wood with lacquer, gold, copper, and crystal
H x W x D: 62.8 × 43.2 × 36 cm (24 3/4 × 17 × 14 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Lacquer, Sculpture


bodhisattva, Buddhism, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), mudra

To 1909
Count Tanaka, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Count Tanaka through Samurai Shokai, Yokohama in 1909 [2]

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


[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 173, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[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) and Custodian(s)

Count Tanaka (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Recent scholarship associates this sculpture of a bodhisattva (enlightened being) with Kaikei (fl. 1180–1220), a master sculptor who contributed to the revival of Buddhist sculpture in the Kamakura period (1185–1333).  Proportion and balance in the figure, realistic yet sensitive modeling of the facial features, and graceful, regular arrangement of the garment folds are marks of Kaikei's style.

Published References
  • Helen Nebeker Tomlinson. West Meets East: Charles L. Freer Trailblazing Asian Art Collector. Herndon, Virginia. Insert p. 14.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 93, vol. 2: p. 179.
  • "快慶 日本人を魅了した仏のかたち." The Buddhist Master Sculptor Kaikei: Timeless Beauty from the Kamakura Period. Exh. cat. Japan. p. 7, fig. 2.
  • Ann Yonemura. Japanese Lacquer. Washington, 1979. cat. 2, p. 12.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 88.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 89, fig. 60.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington. pp. 96-97.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 142-143.
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 358.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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