Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Hossō Mandala

Muromachi period (1392–1573)
16th century
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold leaf on silk
43 1/4 x 19 1/2 in. (109.9 x 49.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Eileen Hsu, 1991
Accession Number:
Not on view
This painting is a manifestation of the transmission of Hossō-school teachings from India and China to Japan. One of the eight earliest Buddhist schools, Hossō (Faxiang in Chinese; Dharmalakshana in Sanskrit) was founded by the great monk Genjō (Xuanzang in Chinese; 596–664) and his eminent disciple Kiki, also known as Jion Daishi (Guiji in Chinese; 632–682).

As the legendary founder of the Hossō sect, Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya Bodhisattva) is enshrined as the central deity, facing forward. Depicted against a lozenge-grid background are twenty-three patriarchs of the Hossō school in three-quarter view, arranged symmetrically in two groups, flanking the central image. Each of them can be identified with a name written in a cartouche next to the image. Chinese and Japanese priests appear below the Indian patriarchs. All of the figures are portrayed wearing detailed and colorful garments in a schematic manner that suggests a date of the second half of the sixteenth century for this work.
Related Objects

The Four Deities of Mount Kōya

Date: 16th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color and gold on silk Accession: 2015.300.15 On view in:Not on view

Aizen Myōō

Date: 14th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color, gold, and cut gold leaf on silk Accession: 66.90 On view in:Not on view

Su Shi Riding a Donkey

Artist: Bokudō Sojun (Japanese, 1373–1459) Date: early 15th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and gold on paper Accession: 2015.300.49 On view in:Gallery 225


Artist: Ogata Kōrin (Japanese, 1658–1716) Date: after 1704 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 2015.300.89 On view in:Gallery 228

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

Artist: Sesson Shūkei (ca. 1504–ca. 1589) Date: 1550s Medium: Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.50 On view in:Not on view