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Namikiri Fudō Myōō


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 227

This sculpture of the protective deity Fudō Myōō, the “Immovable Wisdom King,” dramatically captures his status as a wrathful deity. Venerated for his ability to prevent calamity, Fudō is caught in action, with his right leg raised. He carries a sword and lasso, prepared to destroy any negative forces that threaten Buddhist teachings and the faithful. This particular form of Fudō may represent Namikiri, or Wave-Cutting, Fudō, which relates to his safeguarding of the monk Kūkai (774–835).

Namikiri Fudō Myōō, Wood with lacquer, color, gold, and inlaid crystal, Japan

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