light grey ceramic vessel with incised bands running horizontally around exterior in three groups, at top, middle, and bottom; matching lid with incised bands radiating outward in two groups from central knob

Sutra container, 12th century

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This cylindrical container was an outer case for another container that held a sutra, or Buddhist scripture. The inner case was probably bronze, similar to the example displayed beside it here. Sutras were copied by hand and buried in sutra mounds in order to accumulate merit for the burier as a type of good deed. Now worn down, the round and slightly pointed knob on top of the lid originally took the shape of a hōju, the sacred “wish-fulfilling jewel” often seen in Buddhist imagery.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Sutra container
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.278a,b
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 583
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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light grey ceramic vessel with incised bands running horizontally around exterior in three groups, at top, middle, and bottom; matching lid with incised bands radiating outward in two groups from central knob