Welcoming Descent of Amida Buddha with Bodhisattvas Kannon and Seishi


Not on view

This embroidered image depicts Amida Buddha with his attendant bodhisattvas, Kannon and Seishi, as they descend to welcome a believer to the Western Paradise at the time of her death. Such images served as guides for the faithful, helping them in their final moments to ensure their rebirth in Amida’s Pure Land, and were often used in deathbed rituals. Most surviving embroideries were created by women, and the devotee represented in this composition is a young woman. For her depictions of Amida’s curly hair, parts of his vestment, and other figures’ hair, the maker used stitches of human hair, probably her own. In this way, she embedded herself within an image that provides hope in this life and a demonstration of salvation after death.

Welcoming Descent of Amida Buddha with Bodhisattvas Kannon and Seishi, Hanging scroll; silk and hair embroidery on silk ground, Japan

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