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Icon Plaque (Kakebotoke) with Bosatsu

A work made of wood and bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood and bronze.


13th century



About this artwork

Kannon, the bodhisattva of mercy and compassion, sits in the center of this icon plaque. Along the outer rim, four sets of dharma wheels represent the teachings of the Buddha, and two vajras (the pronged objects attached to hoops) signify weapons used to destroy evil. In the inner circle, wish-granting jewels on either side of Kannon? stand for the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Buddhist law (dharma), and the community of believers (sangha).

Icon plaques (kakebotoke) bearing the likeness of a deity were hung under the eaves of temples, where they could be seen and worshipped by multiple people at once. Their circular form derives from the shape of polished bronze mirrors.


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Arts of Asia


Icon Plaque (Kakebotoke) with Bosatsu


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Wood and bronze


Diam.: 53.5 cm (21 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number


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