Sogyo Hachiman

A work made of wood with traces of white pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood with traces of white pigment.


10th century



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.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .


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