Square wooden shrine with Yakushi Nyorai figure inside, Japan 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in Japan
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Square wooden shrine with hinged doors, open to reveal serene Buddha-like figure holding small flask to contain medicines, called Yakushi Nyorai, Japanese, 1801-1900

Inside this highly decorated Japanese shrine is the Buddhist deity Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of healing and medicine. He is seen here holding his right hand in the gesture (known as mundra) for granting wishes. He traditionally held a flask of medicine in his left hand. However, this is missing. Offerings were possibly left in its place because there is a tiny circular wire within which to place them. This shrine may have been placed in a wealthy family home or monastery. It may have been used in ceremonial rituals with offerings to ensure healing and protection.

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Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Object Number:
A123291
Materials:
complete, metal (unknown), wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall (open): 402 mm x 300 mm x 136 mm, 1.36 kg
overall (closed): 400 mm x 152 mm x 135 mm, 1.36 kg
type:
shrine
taxonomy:
  • built environment - hierarchy name
  • single built work- hierarchy name
credit:
Martin, V.C.
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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