Buddhism and the Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige: Bodhisattva Kannon
Lee jay walker
Tokyo modern times
The Japanese calligrapher Sugawara Mitsushige’s inscription dates the scroll to 1257. Thus begins the brief Shoka era. Also, in this period of Japanese history, the famous Buddhist monk Nichiren (1222-1282) spread new ideas and invigorated Buddhism in Japan.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art says According to the inscription of the calligrapher Sugawara-no-Mitsushige, this parchment was made in the first year of the Shoka era (1257) and was modeled after a printed book of the Chinese Song dynasty dated 1208 Although the figurative and architectural compositions and motifs in this version reflect Chinese pictorial traditions, it is clear that the anonymous artist inventively incorporated native Japanese elements (yamato-e), particularly in the manner of depicting landscapes and fantastic beasts and demons.
Its power never ceases to amaze all spectators who cherish art, culture, history and religion. Thus, the images of the “Universal Door “ remain visually powerful.
Thirty-four amazing images from chapter 25 of the “Universal Gate” combine with the sacred texts of the sutra. Indeed, the images highlight the mercy shown by Bodhisattva Kannon and the compassion that awaits him.
Bodhisattva Jizo and Bodhisattva Kannon are extremely popular deities in Japan. Therefore, these two deities dot the landscape.
The Middle Empire (China) played a powerful role in the cultural growth of Japan. Inside, the indigenous Shinto faith is said to merge many new ideas that have entered the country. In addition, new internal Buddhist sects would emerge which were extremely diverse – from Shingon Buddhism (vajrayana lineage) in Nichiren.
Therefore, the diversity of Japanese Buddhism can be strongly felt in Chichibu, Kamakura, Kyoto, Koyasan, Nara, Negoro-ji, Nikko and other important centers of this religion.
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