Mandala of the Three Shrines at Kumano

Mandala of the Three Shrines at Kumano

熊野宮曼荼羅図

1300s

Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Image: 134 x 62 cm (52 3/4 x 24 7/16 in.); Overall: 217.2 x 80 cm (85 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1953.16

Location

Fun Fact

The sacred waterfall at the top right of the painting is called Nachi.

Description

This painting depicts the three shrines of Kumano from a bird’s-eye perspective, with the Buddhist counterparts of the kami of each shrine hall shown in discs directly above the halls. It also features figures, both pilgrims and deities, along the pilgrimage route and at the shrines. It is the only surviving work illustrating architectural representations of all three shrines in the same painting. They are compressed into a stacked composition, with the Nachi shrine at the top, the Shingū in the middle, and the Hongū at the bottom.

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