Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva

Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva

行道面・菩薩

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

Location

Fun Fact

The most famous welcoming descent procession happens each year on April 14 at the temple Taimadera in Nara.

Description

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.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

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