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According to Buddhist scripture, arhats (Japanese: rakan) are protectors of the Dharma who also use assorted magical powers to assist the faithful. They were frequently depicted in groups of eight, sixteen, eighteen, twenty-eight, or five hundred. The arhats pictured were originally part of a group of sixteen (of which only seven are extant) once owned by Hokokuji, a temple on the island of Shikoku. Each arhat in the set is identified by a cartouche at the upper right or left.

Arhats, Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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