Deer Mandala of Kasuga Shrine


Not on view

By the fourteenth century, tendencies toward the synthesis of Buddhism and Shinto led to the belief in Shinto kami as manifestations of Buddhist deities. The deer, vehicle of the deity Takemikazuchi, rides on a cloud and wears a colorful saddle that supports an evergreen sakaki tree interlaced with wisteria vines. At the tree’s canopy is a golden mirror that includes images of the five Buddhist deities associated with the kami of the Kasuga Shrine in Nara.

Deer Mandala of Kasuga Shrine, Hanging scroll; color on silk, Japan

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