Kanjo-ban (Banner for the Kanjo Ceremony)

Asuka period, 7th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

Banners are among the various ornaments used to decorate the inside and outside of Buddhist temple halls. Although most early banners were made of cloth, this ordination banner (J. kanjôban) is a representative masterwork from among the Treasures of Hôryû-ji Temple. It comprises adjoining sheets of gilt bronze openwork cut in the shapes of a Buddha, heavenly beings, clouds, and arabesques. A canopy, composed of four sheets of gold-plated bronze fitted together in the shape of a parasol, covers the uppermost part of the banner. On the periphery of the canopy are metal fittings called "snake tongues" from which hang a shower of circular ornaments. From the center of the canopy is suspended a long banner tail, composed of six sheets connected by "butterfly" joints. It is thought that originally a cloth banner hung from the lower end of the metal banner, measuring up to ten meters in length.Heavenly beings, seated on clouds, playing instruments and offering flowers and incense, appear on the canopy and the long banner tail, which is bordered by an openwork belt with honeysuckle and arabesque patterns. In the uppermost banner plate is carved a Buddha Triad, with a Buddha flanked by attendant bodhisattvas.The kanjô ordination refers to a ritual that entails the sprinkling of water on the head of the Buddha's disciple to testify that the individual has advanced to a certain level of attainment. It is thought that the ordination banner is as meritorious as the very act of receiving ordination.


  • Title: Kanjo-ban (Banner for the Kanjo Ceremony)
  • Date Created: Asuka period, 7th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h5100 mm
  • Object Title: 灌頂幡
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 幡(ばん)は寺院の堂の内外を飾る荘厳具(しょうごんぐ)の一つで、古代の幡の多くは染織品であった。この灌頂幡は「法隆寺献納宝物」を代表する名品で、見事な透彫で如来や天人、雲、唐草文などを表した金銅板(銅板に金メッキ)を組み合わせて構成されている。最上部をおおう天蓋と、その中央に吊り下げた大幡からなる。天蓋は4枚の金銅板を傘形に組み合わせて周縁に蛇舌(じゃぜつ)と呼ばれる飾金具をめぐらし、その下に多くの垂飾を垂らす。大幡は天蓋中央から吊り下げ、6枚からなる。それぞれを蝶番(ちょうつがい)で連ね、当初は下端に染織幡と同じく布製の幡足が垂れていたと推定され、その全長は10メートルにおよぶ。 天蓋、大幡ともに、雲の中で楽器を奏で、華や香などを献じる天人が配されるほか、大幡には周縁に忍冬唐草文の帯が透彫でめぐらされている。また大幡最上部の1枚には、如来とその両脇に従う菩薩の如来三尊像が透彫されている。 灌頂とは頭に水を注ぎ、仏の弟子としてある位に昇ったことを証する儀式。灌頂幡には、灌頂を受けることと同様な功徳があると考えられたのではないか、とされている。
  • Object Date: 飛鳥時代・7世紀
  • Type: Metalwork
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100208

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