About this artwork
The literal meaning of the title of this statue is “Hachiman in the guise of a monk.” The cult of the Shinto deity Hachiman originated at Usa in northeast Kyushu, a site relatively close to the Korean peninsula and also a prominent early Buddhist center. This cult was distinct in its willingness to blend and assimilate a variety of more parochial beliefs. Its comfortable accommodation with Buddhism probably accounts for the deity’s form here: the image of the monk was perhaps the most familiar manifestation of the new religion, introduced into Japan in the sixth century.
Throughout Japanese history, the cult of Hachiman had a unique relationship to centers of government, with important shrines in Nara, Kyoto, and Kamakura. The deity was invoked as a source of protection and blessing by various powerful and contending forces.
Currently Off View
- Asian Art
- Sogyo Hachiman
- 899 AD–999 AD
- Wood with traces of white pigment
- 53.3 × 46.4 cm (21 × 18 1/4 in.)
- Gift of the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation