Help with a Zushi!

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.
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Help with a Zushi!

Post by Viper6924 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:53 am

Dear members!

I´ve been a "silent" visitor to this board for a while now. Enjoy taking part of the knowledge shared amongst the members. My main focus is Japanese history and religion. The world of Buddhism and Shintoism is truly quite complicated and during my many visits to Japan I have finally come to realize that the best approach to take is to not fully understand it, which is hard for a fact-seeking European like myself :smile:
So let´s start my journey here with what I hope is a much easier question.
I have a few miniature shrines which I have collected during my trips to Japan or otherwise acquired. There is one that I have some problem identifying.
This small Zushi is about 20 cm total height. It´s pretty much complete except for the item once held in the left hand.
Based on the attributes on the figure I gather that this is a Bosatsu (Bodhisattva). But which one? As you can see from the pictures, then left hand grasps around a remnant of a thin object. This object goes through the hand and sticks out beneath. I get the impression that it might be a lotus-stalk or something similar.
The attachment zushi1.jpeg is no longer available
zushi1.jpeg (322.58 KiB) Viewed 657 times
Would really appreciate to finally know the answer to my question.

All the best!


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Re: Help with a Zushi!

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:29 am

This is almost certainly from a set, probably it is one of a set of three...
The image hasn't been reversed, has it?

I think that this particular one is probably the Moonlight Bodhisattva (or the Sunlight Bodhisattva)
Compare it to these: ... 96%A9.html

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Re: Help with a Zushi!

Post by Viper6924 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks for your assistance. You def put me on the right path. The picture is not reversed.
With your help I could dig a bit further.
I found some images depicting Shô Kannon bosatsu zazô, the bosatsu of compassion. Including a picture from the Museum of fine arts in Boston.
9F379670-F6E0-47EE-83CD-5F2ABA5B6F3B.jpeg (126.42 KiB) Viewed 622 times
This is very close to the one I have. Just a slightly different position of the fingers.
This kind of detective-work is really interesting albeit a tad frustrating at times :)


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Re: Help with a Zushi!

Post by Queequeg » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:19 pm

This is a good resource to help identify images:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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