head of figure with open mouth, top knot, and third eye; all eyes inlaid crystal; shiny black base

Kaguhana head from a Dandatō staff, early 14th century

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The fierce head shown here likely would have been part of a pair, male and female, mounted on a staff held by one of the 10 kings of hell. The 10 kings judged deceased souls, deciding which realm of rebirth they should be born into. A contemporaneous wood sculpture from the collection of the Tōdaiji Temple in Nara shows Taizan Fukun, one of the kings of hell, holding a similar double-headed staff, indicating the popularity of this convention during the Kamakura period.

Details
Title
Kaguhana head from a Dandatō staff
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.31.39
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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head of figure with open mouth, top knot, and third eye; all eyes inlaid crystal; shiny black base