A Heavenly General (One of the Junishinsho)


The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

This dynamic figure was originally part of a set of Twelve Divine Generals (Junishinsho) that stood in a Japanese Buddhist temple hall, protecting the central icon of the Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha. This sculpture was constructed from many pieces of thinly carved wood joined together with pins, then covered with hemp cloth and lacquer paste, and finally decorated with pigments. Eyes made of crystal, with painted details, finish the composition. The profileration of religious sites throughout Japan, particularly in Kyoto, kept sculptors’ studios busy creating religious icons.

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  • Title: A Heavenly General (One of the Junishinsho)
  • Date Created: 1200s
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 117.2 cm (46 1/8 in.)
  • Provenance: (Yanagi Fine Art Shop, Kyoto, Japan, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1988.53
  • Medium: wood with lacquer, polychromy, gold, and crystal eyes
  • Fun Fact: A fierce facial expression warns us not to cross this protective deity.
  • Department: Japanese Art
  • Culture: Japan, Kamakura period (1185-1333)
  • Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
  • Collection: Japanese Art
  • Accession Number: 1988.53

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