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Life of Nichiren: A Vision of Prayer on the Waves

Artist:
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1835
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. (22.5 x 34.9 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939
Accession Number:
JP2860
Not on view
The story of the life of Nichiren (1222–1282), the iconoclastic founder of the sect of Buddhism that bears his name, has inspired legions of his followers to the present day. Kuniyoshi's series of prints captures the dramatic moments of the priest's biography, including this scene of a vision of the sect's main devotion, the invocation "Praise to the Sutra of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma [Namu Myoho Renge Kyo]," in the ocean waves as Nichiren travels to exile on the island of Sado in 1272.
Signature: Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga
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