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Yasha@–鍳
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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Also Yakusha –ò³ ( Sk: Yaksa), a class of semidivine being usually considered to be of a benevolent and inoffensive disposition but sometimes also classed with malignant spirits such as the *rasetsu —…™‹. The female counterparts are called Yashanyo –鍳— (Sk: Yaksi, Yaksini) and were regarded in particular as tree nymphs or symbols of fertility.
Yasha were adopted into Buddhism at an early stage, and many finely executed stone reliefs and statues are to be found at Sanchi, Mathura and elsewhere in India. Eventually they came to be included among the eight classes of being that protect Buddhism *hachibushuu ”ª•”O. They also act as attendants of *Bishamonten ”ù¹–å“V, who is said to have under his command geight Yasha generals hYasha hachidaishou –鍳”ª‘叫. The Twelve Divine Generals *juuni shinshou \“ñ_« who protect devotees of *Yakushi –òŽt and the Sixteen Good Gods juuroku zenjin \˜Z‘P_ who protect the DAIHANNYAKYOU ‘å”ÊŽáŒo (Great Wisdom Sutra) also belong to the category of Yasha, while Kongoushu ‹à„Žè is often described as a Yasha general, and the goddess *Kariteimo æd—œ’é•ê is said to have been a Yashanyo who was converted to Buddhism. In China and Japan it has been their role as tutelary spirits that has received the greatest emphasis, and therefore they are generally represented clad in armour. They have come to be popularly regarded as demons of fearsome appearance who harm and even devour humans.
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NOTES
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(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System.@No reproduction or republication without written permission.
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