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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Japanese
Title:Nikko (bodhisattva of sunlight)
Date Made:ca. 16th century
Type:Painting; Scroll
Materials:Hanging scroll; ink, colors, gold on silk; gilt knob
Place Made:Asia; Japan
Measurements:Overall: 67 5/8 in x 22 3/16 in; 171.8 cm x 56.4 cm; Mount: 67 5/8 in x 20 7/16 in; 171.8 cm x 51.9 cm; Image: 38 1/4 in x 14 in; 97.2 cm x 35.6 cm
Narrative Inscription:  No inscription.
Accession Number:  MH 2001.7.2
Credit Line:Gift of Sondra Castile (Class of 1958) and an anonymous donor
mh_2001_7_2_v1_01.jpg

Description:
Scroll. Vertical painting of Nikko, bodhisattva of sunlight (Suryaprabha, or Nitten), one of the Juniten (twelve heavenly divine guardians).Wearing crown, various jewelries, multiple scarfs and skirt, the deity is holding a nichirin (sun disc) with a black three-legged crow inside and standing upon a pedestal, with his head against a halo with red flames.































One of the 12 Heavenly Beings/Divine Guardians (Juniten).

Label Text:
Taishakuten and Nitten are two of the 12 Juniten, or heavenly guardians. Though the Juniten originated in India as part of Hindu religious tradition, they were adopted into Buddhist theology in Japan, becoming important protectors of the nation and bringers of prosperity. Taishakuten holds in his right hand a short bronze or gold rod, probably a single-pronged tokkosho, which is his traditional mystical weapon. Nitten is the sun deity, and holds a sun disk in his right hand. In addition to their halos, both figures are richly robed and crowned, announcing their role as heavenly kings.

-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)

Tags:
religion; Buddhism; figures

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=MH+2001.7.2

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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