black lacquer box with design of a very large brush drawing curving, circular calligraphic trail; trail is raised lead; brush handle is sprinkled gold inlay

Monk's robe storage box with fly whisk, 19th century

expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

This dramatic lacquer box (kesabako) stored a Buddhist monk's robe. The design on its lid represents a fly whisk (hossu) made of animal hair. Such whisks represented the Buddhist reverence for all life because they were used to gently brush away annoying insects without harming them. They also became symbolic of the enlightened mind; portraits of high ranking priests often illustrate the venerable master holding a hossu in the manner of a scepter.

In contrast to the powerful shape of the whisk hairs, depicted in lead inlay, the handle was elaborately rendered in delicate patterns of sprinkled gold powder.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Monk's robe storage box with fly whisk
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.401a,b
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 770
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.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

black lacquer box with design of a very large brush drawing curving, circular calligraphic trail; trail is raised lead; brush handle is sprinkled gold inlay