Aizen Myo’o (Ragaraja)

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 1293
Wood with color and applied gold leaf
H x W x D (overall): 43.1 x 32.2 x 29.9 cm (16 15/16 x 12 11/16 x 11 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Buddhist sculpture

bell, bow, Buddhism, Japan, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), lotus, mask, vajra
Provenance research underway.

Worship of the fierce Buddhist deity Aizen Myo'o reached a peak when the deity was invoked to protect Japan against two attempted invasions by the Mongols in 1274 and 1281. This sculpture, an example with a rare dated inscription on the interior of the pedestal, was made at the height of devotion to this deity.

Published References
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 8: figs. 11-12.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 40, p. 52.
  • Art of Asia Recently Acquired by American Museums. vol. 29 New York and Honolulu, 1975-1976. pp. 118, fig. 58.
  • Paths to Perfection, Buddhist Art at the Freer/Sackler. Washington. pp. 214-217.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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