Wood, lacquered and painted
Overall: 22 x 16 cm (8 11/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1950.581
The most famous welcoming descent procession happens each year on April 14 at the temple Taimadera in Nara.
This ceremonial mask was used in a dramatic enactment of the descent of the Buddha Amida and his entourage to welcome the dying to his Pure Land. The mask represents the face of an enlightened being called a bodhisattva. Performances of the welcoming descent had begun by the early 11th century and continue at some temples today.
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