Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
Antique Ema Temple Votive Plack, FudoMyo-O
Please refer to our stock # MOR6959 when inquiring.
An antique placard carved with the name of the Buddhist guardian Deity Fudo-Myo-O. This would have been hung from the eaves in front of a holy site to ward off evil. Written horizontally across the front is Taishinzan, and vertically Fu Do Myo O. This indicates it is from the Kamakura period Tanakami-yama Fudo-ji Temple in Shiga prefecture (an important cultural property near the famous Miho Museum). It appears to be carved into age darkened Kuri (chestnut) with a fanciful border. The piece is 18 x 11-1/2 x 2 inches (46 x 29 x 5 cm). There is a crack in one corner of the wood plack, otherwise it is in very good condition. Originally the edges of the frame and some details were in black, but this has largely worn away. It could be re-dyed with ink if desired. On back, barely discernable, is the inscription Given in Faith by Miyake Tsune, aged 39.
Fudo-Myo-O (The immovable wisdom king or in Sanskrit Ācala) is one of the most commonly seen deities in Japan, adopted from Hinduism into the Buddhist pantheon, and is central is esoteric Buddhism. He is the guardian of Buddhism and one of the five Wisdom kings along with Gōzanze, Gundari, Daiitoku and Kongōyasha. Fudô Myo-o is usually depicted surrounded by flames standing or sitting on a stone. Fudô Myo-o holds a rope in his left hand, used to catch and bind demons and a sword called “Kurikara” or devil-subduing sword to cut through ignorance. Finally, his hair is braided on the side of his head in the manner of a servant to represent his devotion to service for all sentient beings. One might often see his statue near a waterfall, where shugyo (ritual purification by standing under a waterfall in meditation) takes place.
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