figure with six heads, arms, and legs astride crouched bull on wood base; metal bands around wrists, some biceps, and most ankles; halo with flames attached at back; two hands of two arms together in praying position, other arms bent and flare outwards. Upper left arm holds long staff, lower one holds implement with "curly q"-shaped end. Upper right arm holds a trident. Lower right arm fingersshaped like it was holding something in hand. Three bottom heads have crystal inlay eyes. Three smaller heads on top considerably smaller.

Wisdom King of Awe-Inspiring Power (Daiitoku Myōō), second half 13th century

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Daiitoku Myōō, or Wisdom King of Awe-Inspiring Power, is a Buddhist guardian deity whose intense rage is manifested by his wild appearance: six legs, six arms carrying an assortment of weapons, and six glaring faces backed by an aureole of flames. Derived from the Indian deity Yamāntaka, the “Conqueror of Death,” Daiitoku Myōō vanquishes evil along with his vehicle, a powerful water buffalo. He is one of the Five Great Wisdom Kings (Godai Myōō), four of whom occupy positions in each of the cardinal directions around a central deity known as The Immovable Wisdom King (Fudō Myōō). Each of the Wisdom Kings also guards its own Buddha. Since Daiitoku occupies the west, he is associated with the wrath of Amida, whose paradise is located in the west.

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Details
Title
Wisdom King of Awe-Inspiring Power (Daiitoku Myōō)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.29.1a-g
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figure with six heads, arms, and legs astride crouched bull on wood base; metal bands around wrists, some biceps, and most ankles; halo with flames attached at back; two hands of two arms together in praying position, other arms bent and flare outwards. Upper left arm holds long staff, lower one holds implement with "curly q"-shaped end. Upper right arm holds a trident. Lower right arm fingersshaped like it was holding something in hand. Three bottom heads have crystal inlay eyes. Three smaller heads on top considerably smaller.