Asia Society Home Asia Society Home
< previous  3 of 11  next >
enlarge image map of region
related objects
Early Japanese Sculpture
Japanese Buddhist Art
Muromachi Period Painting
Kano School Painting
Rinpa Paintings
Japanese Woodblock Prints
Japanese Stoneware
Japanese Porcelains
Fudo Myo-o (Achala Vidyaraja)
Japan; Heian (794-1185) to Kamakura (1185-1333) period, late 12th century
Cypress wood with traces of pigment and cut gold leaf
H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Fudo Myo-o ("Immovable Wisdom King") is the most important of a group of five deities, each of whom represents the wrathful energies of a Buddha and has the power to convince the reluctant to accept the Buddha's teachings. Fudo Myo-o is an emanation of Dainichi (Vairochana), the Cosmic Buddha. This image of Fudo Myo-o was once part of a group of five sculptures and would have been placed in the center of the other four myo-o ("wisdom kings"). Fudo Myo-o's dark skin, fierce expression, fangs, and bulging eyes indicate his power to vanquish all demons. His sword cuts through delusion and the lasso he carries pulls even the most wayward beings toward the path of salvation. The statue was made of Japanese cypress (hinoki) using the joined woodblock method of construction. In this technique, different parts -- such as the head, hands, feet, and torso -- were carved from separate pieces of wood, the head and torso were hollowed out, and then the pieces were assembled. After joining, the sculpture was covered with a gessolike material and painted and decorated with cut gold and silver leaf (kirikane).
Home |  South Asia |  Himalaya |  Southeast Asia |  China & Mongolia |  Korea |  Japan
Treasures |  Guided Tour |  Timeline |  Search
About the Asia Society | The Rockefellers and the Asia Society | Site Map
Credits | ©Copyright 2007 Asia Society