Kasuga Shrine Mandala

Kasuga Shrine Mandala


early 1300s

Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk

Overall: 193.6 x 58.8 cm (76 1/4 x 23 1/8 in.); Painting only: 110 x 40.9 cm (43 5/16 x 16 1/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2015.137


Did you know?

Sacred deer, the vehicles of the Kasuga deities, move about the shrine compound.


A golden path beginning at the bottom of this painting leads up to four red-and-white buildings to the left, then to a fifth building on the right. These are the five shrine halls of Kasuga Taisha in Nara. Above and beyond the buildings is a sacred mountain range––with Mount Mikasa at center, Mount Wakakusa in gold to the left, and the sun or moon rising up behind the mountains. Sacred deer appear here and there. Five figures representing the original Buddhist forms of the five kami of the shrine complex stand on clouds above the mountains.

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