VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Kokuzo, the Bodhisattva to sharpen the intellect
RJP 13
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Stylistically, the figure can be attributed to the circle of the famous woodcarver Unkei (died 1223). The gumonji-Sutra prescribes that Kokuzo be seated in a half lotus position and that his right leg should be above the left. One hand forms a gesture symbolising the granting of wishes, while the other generally holds a lotus blossom. The art of the Fujiwara period (987-1185) is characterised by elegance, grace and the finest woodcarving. Kokuzo's delicate, soulful face and the sophisticated, swept-up hairstyle are typical of the Unkei School.

History of the Object
Kokuzo Bosatsu is the central figure in the so-called 'gumonji' ritual, which serves in Esoteric Buddhism to sharpen the intellect.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Wood, remains of polychrome paint 
Measurements
Height 59 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
13th Century; Kamakura period, c. 1200 
Function
Sculpture 
Acquisition
Collection S. Yamamoto, Tokyo; Collection Dubosc; Collection Julius Müller 
Copyright
Museum Rietberg Zürich 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museum Rietberg Zürich 
Museum
Museum Rietberg 
Credit line
Museum Rietberg, Gift Julius Mueller 

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