- Museum number
Canopy from Buddhist temple. Whole in shape of 8-lobed lotus flower. Made of painted and gilded wood; also gilded copper mounts, crystal beads (glass). In lacquered wooden storage box.
- Production date
- 14thC (With later restorations)
Diameter: 60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Smith et al 1990
The 'tengai' hangs above the heads of prominent images in temples. It probably originated as a sunshade used by the nobility, and as such occurs in the earliest representations of the Buddha in India.
The Japanese canopy, or ‘tengai’, derives from the Indian royal parasol placed above the Buddha and other figures in sculpture and painting; Central Asian fragments in textile have been found at Dunhuang. In Japan it hangs from temple ceilings over Buddha and Bodhisattva images. Usually of painted wood in a metal frame, it can be carved with elaborate openwork. Forms of the canopy are used in the esoteric Kanjō initiation ritual derived from Indian consecrations (‘abhiṣeka’) involving lustration from the cardinal points.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Registration number