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Katō Nobukiyo, Descent of the Buddha Amida with two attendant bodhisattvas, a hanging scroll painting

  • Detail: signature and seals

    Detail: signature and seals

  • Detail: signature and seals

    Detail: signature and seals

 

Height: 1323.000 mm
Width: 382.000 mm

William Anderson Collection

Asia JA JP 3453 (1881.12-10.04)

    Katō Nobukiyo, Descent of the Buddha Amida with two attendant bodhisattvas, a hanging scroll painting

    Japan
    Edo period, AD 1796

    The Buddha Amida (Sanskrit: Amitabha) is shown in a standard iconography, descending on a cloud accompanied by the bodhisattvas Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) and Seishi (Mahasthamaprapta). However, the entire painting - outlines, drapery and areas of colour - is composed of tens of thousands of spidery written characters quoting text from the three great sūtras of the Jodō (Pure Land) sect of Japanese Buddhism. This tour de force of fanatical piety was the work of an otherwise obscure official named Katō Nobukiyo (1734-1810). His most ambitious project was a set of fifty such scrolls showing the five hundred arhats done for the Zen sect temple Ryūkō-ji in Edo, which took five years from 1788 to 1792 to complete.

    The signature reads 'Tōbu Shiragane Tamagawa jō Enjinsai kōnen rokujū-san ju kin shoga, ('Respectfully written and painted by Enjinsai at the old age of 63 years, at the upper reaches of the Tamagawa River at Shiragane in Eastern Musashi Province') and the seals read 'Enjinsai' and (?) 'Nobukiyo in'.

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    Modern Japanese crafts, £15.00

    Modern Japanese crafts, £15.00