Zaō Gongen

Zaō Gongen




Average: 106.7 cm (42 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.105


Did you know?

Zaō Gongen wears the pelt of a large feline, the face of which is near his knee.


Zaō Gongen is the guardian deity of Mount Kinpu in Yoshino south of Nara. Zaō appeared at the behest of En no Gyōja, who prayed for a powerful protector of the mountain. The deity was described as a combined manifestation of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Thousand-Armed Kannon, and Miroku. These three deities were viewed as the past, present, and future protectors of the world. Zaō’s appearance derives from portrayals of fierce Buddhist deities.


Buddhism in Japan
How It Was Made
See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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