bakou-in 馬口印
KEY WORD : art history / scluptures
Lit. horse-mouth mudra. A mudra or hand gesture *in 印, formed by placing both palms together with the forefingers and third fingers bent inwards. Then the thumbs are brought slightly forward to create a space between the thumbs and the forefingers. This mudra is characteristic of *Batou Kannon 馬頭観音 (also Batou Myouou 馬頭明王; Sk: Hayagriva, or Horse-Headed One). The name bakou-in is derived from the fact that the space between the forefingers and thumbs was meant to represent the shape of a horse's mouth. In many-armed images of Batou the two principal hands formed this mudra, but there were also variant forms, such as the image of Batou among the group of *Roku Kannon 六観音 at Daihouonji 大報恩寺 in Kyoto, in which the palms were not placed together.


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