narrow box with design of gold lotus flower and three leaves growing on waving stems; two petals drifting at top; circled gold character on each side

Sutra Box with Lotus Flowers and Seed Syllables, early 17th century

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Designed to hold a scroll of Buddhist scripture, or sutra, this lacquered box bears designs rendered in gold maki-e of lotuses blooming in a pond and two seed syllables, or holy Sanskrit characters that represent buddhas or bodhisattvas. In this case, the syllables stand in for two different manifestations of the bodhisattva Kannon, or Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit: White-robed Kannon and Juntei Kannon. White-robed Kannon is included among the standard “Thirty-three Manifestations of Kannon” developed in China, while Juntei Kannon—the sole female manifestation—is included in the “Six Manifestations of Kannon” associated with the Shingon sect of Buddhism.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Sutra Box with Lotus Flowers and Seed Syllables
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.385a,b
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 746
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our 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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narrow box with design of gold lotus flower and three leaves growing on waving stems; two petals drifting at top; circled gold character on each side