Important Cultural PropertyRāgarāja (Aizen Myō-ō)

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  • 1 statue
  • Wood, colored, partly coated with thin gold strips, beaded eyes
  • Statue H 64.0, hairline H 47.4
  • Kamakura period/13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • C-1858

This is an image of Aizenmyoo with three eyes, six arms and a lion crown on the head, who is described in the Kongoburokaku-issaiyugayugyo-kyo Sutra. The red skin color is based on the description of "like the shining sun" in the sutra. The hair rising like flames, furious eyes with raised eyebrows and open mouth with fangs all express his anger. The use of the gyokugan technique, a technique to insert eyes made of crystal into the head, effectively adds to the dynamic power. On the johaku (a cloth on the left shoulder) and kun (skirt), kirikane (gold leaf cut into strips) patterns can be seen. Since Aizenmyoo is the avatar of Kongosatta Bodhisattva (Vajrasattva), even his angry face does not look vulgar.
It is known that this image was enshrined at Uchiyama Eikyuji Temple and it could be that this image is the one that is mentioned in the Uchiyama-no-ki as created by Unga and enshrined at Yakushi-in, although more research is required to establish it. This work is valuable not only as a sculpture, but also as a composite art work that includes paintings on a zushi (small shrine), calligraphy written on colored, square-shaped paper and elaborate metal decorations.