Exhibitions/ Art Object
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十二神将の内
Six of the Twelve Divine Generals (Jūni shinshō)

Period:
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Date:
14th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Wood with lacquer, color, gold, and inlaid crystal eyes
Dimensions:
Each: H. 19 5/16 in. (49 cm); Base: L. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm); W. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Mary Griggs Burke Collection, Gift of the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.300.254a–f
Not on view
The Twelve Divine Generals serve and protect Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, who heals all diseases, including the disease of ignorance. They are also responsible for protecting the faithful and vanquishing the enemies of Buddhism. The generals are usually depicted with ferocious countenances, wearing armor and standing in fighting poses, as in these examples. In Heian Japan, they became associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The generals here have been tentatively identified as, from right to left:

(2) Basara, Ox (丑)
(4) Anchira, Rabbit (卯)
(6) Sanchira, Snake (巳)
(7) Indara, Horse (午)
(11) Shotora, Dog (戌)
(12) Bikara, Boar (亥)
Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.

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