Many-Jeweled Stupa Reliquary (Tahōtō shari yōki)

Many-Jeweled Stupa Reliquary (Tahōtō shari yōki)

early to mid 1300s

Wood and metal

Average: 68 x 34.4 cm (26 3/4 x 13 9/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1982.8


Earthen mounds that marked the sites of interred relics in ancient India are called stupas. As Buddhism traveled through East Asia, the mounds took on the form of towers called “pagodas” by Westerners. This miniature tower, painted with Buddhist deities on the interiors of the doors on each side, likely once held items considered to be sacred relics. The deities on the doors have been tentatively identified as the four bodhisattvas of the sacred text the Lotus Sutra, and two Guardian Kings known as Niō.

See also
Japanese Art
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 

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