EMPRESS KOMYOâ€™S DEDICATION PRAYER, KOKKA CHIMPO-CHO, JAPAN, 756, SCROLL, INK ON PAPER, WIDTH 25.8 CM. SHOSO-IN COLLECTION. PHOTO: IMPERIAL HOUSEHOLD AGENCY – TAASA Review March 2014
ordination banners, robes, incense burners, prayer beads, and implements such as vajra thunderbolt sceptres used in Buddhist rites, these gifts from the Empress, as she expressed in her prayer, were intended to speed her late husband on his journey to the Western Paradise.
The religious paraphernalia is suitably grand, conveying a sense of the spectacle that would have accompanied Buddhist rites in court and temple.
Depicting mythical creatures and imaginative floral forms, the intricate polychrome lacquer and gold ornamentation on each of the lotus petals encircling a sumptuous large pedestal of an incense burner typifies this richness. Today, the items stored in the Shoso-in provide a rich visual account of seasonal daily activities and recurring state ceremony...