Zaō Gongen


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 227

Zaō Gongen is a rare example of a purely Japanese deity in the Buddhist pantheon. Many of the religious practices associated with Zaō took place in remote temples deep in the mountains. Through these rites, mountain ascetics (yamabushi), who were practitioners of Shugendō, attempted to appropriate for themselves the sheer physical power of the deities. This powerful icon in a demon-quelling aspect was made for the Kōshōji Temple in Kyoto.

#8815. Za Gongen

Zaō Gongen, Gilt bronze with incised decoration, Japan

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