Daishōgun (Great General)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 223

Daishōgun is a guardian of the cardinal directions, a powerful and popular deity in ancient Japan, where certain directions were seen as the source of great danger. According to the practices of Onmyōdō, the Way of Yin-Yang, the most perilous direction shifted every three years. Daishōgun icons were moved regularly to safeguard people from menacing cosmic forces in the most vulnerable times and places. Imagined as a bearded and red-faced warrior wearing a helmet and suit of armor, he would have originally held a sword in his right hand.

Daishōgun (Great General), Wood with traces of color, Japan

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