unembellished cup with lid and saucer; small finial on top of lid

Container for rubbing incense, 14th century


Rubbing incense (zukō)—powdered incense mixed with liquid to form a thick paste—has several ritual uses in Buddhism. It is applied to the body and also to icons to remove any uncleanness. It is also offered to the Buddha as one of the Five Types of Offerings (go-kuyō), along with incense, foodstuff, candles, and adornments. Containers for rubbing incense, like this gilt bronze example, are thus essential implements in Buddhist ritual.

Container for rubbing incense
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 815
Curator Approved

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unembellished cup with lid and saucer; small finial on top of lid