Important Cultural PropertyNyoi (Crosier) with Design of Hosoge Flower

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  • 1 piece
  • Bronze, gilted with gold and silver. Handle: black-lacquered wood
  • L 63.5, W of head 26.9
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Nara National Museum
  • 956(工199)

A Nyoi is a ritual implement that a monk giving lectures carries at Seppou (a lecture on Buddhism), Kousan (a lecture of the passages of Buddhist sutras) and Houe (a gathering of monks and followers of Buddhism) with propriety. This gold-silver plated copper Nyoi has a wide cloud shaped top (Unzu) that has a part called a Shigisaki in the center. There are small and large arches on both sides of the Shigisaki and the edges of the arches are engraved in spirals. The part called Unkyaku gradually becomes thinner as it is bent toward the back side and attached to a wooden shaft lacquered in black by a fitting with openwork called Dehasso-Inome Sukashi. The Unzu has an Ujyomon design (strings of curves) and a pair of phoenixes facing each other in the center with Hosoge (flower) patterns almost symmetrically arranged to cover the whole Unzu. Between the flowers, three birds and a butterfly fly around and a Sangakumon (pattern) with flowers and leaves is applied between the two phoenixes. Hosoge patterns and two phoenixes are also engraved on the Unkyaku and Hosoge flowers and a pair of mandarin ducks is engraved on the fitting. A fine line-carving technique called "hair carving" (kebori) has been performed to decorate all the patterns and the patterns are gold plated and the remaining parts are silver plated to create a synergetic effect.