Male and Female Shinto Deities


Not on view

This pair of Shinto deities is represented in human form, wearing Heian court dress to suggest sacred and secular authority. These figures were likely produced in connection with the ancient court practice of honoring the spirit ancestors of aristocratic families as a reward for their political and cultural contributions. The square faces, stout bodies, and deeply carved robes resemble the stylized rendering of early Heian-period Buddhist sculpture.

Male and Female Shinto Deities, Japanese cypress with traces of color, Japan

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