Iconographic Drawing of Saturn
Rituals dedicated to the stars and planets were introduced to Japan from China in the ninth century together with Esoteric Buddhist teachings. Doyō (Sanskrit: Shanaishchara), or the planet Saturn, is one of the Nine Luminaries (Sanskrit: Navagraha) of the stellar system as originally defined in early Indian texts that were later incorporated into Buddhism. In China, Buddhist understandings of the heavens were intertwined with Daoist beliefs. Here, the planet is illustrated as an old man with a bull’s head atop his own, dressed in a flowing robe. Now mounted as a hanging scroll, the iconographic drawing once formed part of a handscroll including representations of other celestial bodies.
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