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Thread: Japanese God ?

  1. #1
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    Default Japanese God ?

    Does any have some small info regarding this photo. I am just curious. Thanks in advance.
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    Hard to tell from just that, but it may be one of the Niou.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, onne he t gue gengan ence longsumne lof, na ymb his lif ceara. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Thanks Josh ! At least I know now where to start.
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    Actually I don't think it's a Niou, but rather one of the Shitenou (四天王 ー four heavenly kings). Could be Bishamonten (毘沙門天)
    Alex Bradshaw

    bradshaw.jp

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    I'm leaning towards one of the 4 Heavenly Kings as well. When I went to the Smithsonian last year my girlfriend snapped photos of two of them they had on display. I hope the photos come across in this post.
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  6. #6
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    Hey, call me an expert! (Meaning: I knew nothing about this subject until yesterday but now I've spent an hour on Wiki and Google), but this looks to be Buddhist, not Shinto.

    So, from early suggestions, it appears to be either a Nio, which are guardians often found at the entrance to a temple (one on each side), or possibly the god of warriors Bishamonten (also known as Tamonten (多聞天)), who is one of the Four Heavenly Kings.

    The statues of Bishamonten often show him holding a pagoda in one hand and a lance in the other. Going from the many images on Google images, I'd have to assume that the most well-known version of Bishamonten is this one at Todaiji.


    Note how the statue in the OP is wearing armour. Could that right hand be holding something? Maybe it fell off. I wonder how big it is in reality. Is it carved from wood, or is it stone? I notice that ALL the images of the statue in Todaiji are very similar - they are all natural light and from ground level - as this is a temple location and you can't go bringing in lights or a step-ladder to improve the angle. The OP picture is lit, with a selected background. Does that mean it is small enough to carry around? But none of the images on the net match that one.. so perhaps it is not a well-known example?!

    Mind you, THIS one is easy to carry around too, but probably not seen in public too often...
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
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    Looks alot like Komokuten (広目天) with the scroll missing in his hand. Although, the face looks more like Zochoten (增長天). The statue doesn't appear to be THAT old though...
    Tom Karazozis
    -Kanshiketsu!

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    Komokuten, from here:
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    A-ha! Found this other angle of the OP picture, on a photography site (with Japanese text) using "広目天" as my search parameter:


    There are three other fine pics that look to be from the same location, one of which looks like Bishamonten, and the other two look like Nio.
    Last edited by Tripitaka of AA; 6th June 2010 at 17:52.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  10. #10
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    Does any have some small info regarding this photo. I am just curious. Thanks in advance.
    Strangely, the info on that photographer's site doesn't seem to say which temple houses this statue. He does mention that there is a grill or mesh barrier around the statue which explains why the pics are both close-ups. The photographer has taken the pic through the bars.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    A-ha! Found this other angle of the OP picture, on a photography site (with Japanese text) using "広目天" as my search parameter:


    There are three other fine pics that look to be from the same location, one of which looks like Bishamonten, and the other two look like Nio.
    David...Your'e good !!!!
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    I concur that this is Komokuten, and yes, it's not Shinto but Buddhist (via Hinduism).

    Here's a link with more information:
    http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/koumokuten.html
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  13. #13
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    Brian is slipping. I thought he'd be the one to track down this one. His link is the one I put in post #8.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Brian is slipping. I thought he'd be the one to track down this one. His link is the one I put in post #8.
    I've been busy.

    Also, I was just getting ready to edit my post, but the time expired while was was running out to my truck (I was having a late dinner at a restaurant) to plug into 12 volt as my battery was dying:

    "EDIT: Well, I see now that my link is the same one already posted by David Noble. I should learn to look before I leap."
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    Strangely, the info on that photographer's site doesn't seem to say which temple houses this statue.
    The temple is called Tanashi-san Sojiji (田無山総持寺) and it's in Tokyo. Also, the two statues at the sanmon are indeed Bishamonten and Komokuten.

    http://clova.jp/tanashi/pg29.html
    Tom Karazozis
    -Kanshiketsu!

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