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Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva


late 1100s
Overall: 22 x 16 cm (8 11/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Did You Know?

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.
Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva

Processional Mask of a Bodhisattva

late 1100s

Japan, Heian period (794–1185)

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