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Figure of the bodhisattva Fugen

Figure of the bodhisattva Fugen


Height: 158.000 cm

Asia JA 1988.3-14.1

    Figure of the bodhisattva Fugen

    From Japan
    Edo period, first half of the 17th century AD

    The bodhisattvas Fugen (Sanskrit: Samantabhadra) and Monju (Manjushri) were brother princes. They were born during the lifetime of the historical Buddha, Shaka (Shakyamuni) in the fourth or fifth century BC, usually appearing each side of him in temple triads. Fugen is often represented riding on an elephant.

    The figure is made of lacquered, gilt and painted wood. The inscription on the back translates: 'The grand sculptor Kōyū, the lay priest Sakkyō, by Imperial Decree given the title Hōin [Seal of the Law]'. Kōyū was one of the leading artists and restorers of his day, following the tradition of the twelfth-century master Unkei.

    L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)