Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva: Gyodo Mask

Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva: Gyodo Mask


late 1100s

Wood, lacquered and painted

Overall: 22 x 16 cm (8 11/16 x 6 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1950.581



This ceremonial mask was used in the religious processions that were particularly popular in the Heian period (794– 1185). In this performance about the Western Paradise, the final resting place of souls in Pure Land Buddhism, 25 actors wearing bodhisattva masks would join an actor portraying the Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise. This performance, accompanied by the vigorous drumming, offered a vision of the glory of Amida's paradise for devotees.

See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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