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Butchou@•§’Έ
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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Also Butchouson •§’Έ‘Έ. Sk: Usnisa. Lit. Buddha-Crown. A class of Esoteric Buddhist deities generally believed to be personifications of the protuberance on the crown of the Buddha's head, one of the 32 distinguishing marks of a Buddha *sanjuunisou ŽO\“ρ‘Š. Strictly speaking, these deities are personifications of dharanis (Jp: darani ‘Ι—…“ς) or mystic formulae believed to embody the power of the light rays emitted from the crown of the Buddha's head, and because these dharanis were considered to be especially efficacious for purifying evil karma and liberating people from hell, the cult of the Butchou is associated especially with rites for the dead. The Butchou usually assume the form of bodhisattvas *bosatsu •μŽF, and there are both male and female Butchou A number of different Butchou are mentioned in Buddhist texts, often in groups.

1) Three Butchou, sanbutchou ŽO•§’Έ, which are: Koudai Butchou L‘啧’Έ (Sk:Mahodgatosnisa), Gokukoudai Butchou ‹ΙL‘啧’Έ (Sk: Abhyudgatosnisa), and Muhen-onjou Butchou –³•Σ‰ΉΊ•§’Έ (Sk: Anantasvaraghosa).

2) Five Butchou, gobutchou Œά•§’Έ, which are: Byakusangai Butchou ”’ŽPŠW•§’Έ (Sk: Sitatapatrosnisa), Shoubutchou Ÿ•§’Έ (Sk: Jayosnisa), Saishou Butchou ΕŸ•§’Έ (Sk: Vijayosnisa), Kouju Butchou ŒυγΪ•§’Έ (Sk: Tejorasyusnisa), and Shajo Butchou ŽΜœ•§’Έ (Sk: Vikiranosnisa).

3) Eight Butchou, hachibutchou ”ͺ•§’Έ, which are: Three Butchou and Five Butchou which together appear, for example, in the Shaka-in Žί‰ή‰@ of the *Taizoukai mandara ‘Ω‘ ŠE™ΦδΆ—… and in the *Sonshou mandara ‘ΈŸ™ΦδΆ—….

4) Nine Butchou, kubutchou ‹γ•§’Έ, which are: Eight Butchou encircling Daibutchou ‘啧’Έ or Shouissai Butchou ΫˆκΨ•§’Έ, as in the Daibutchou mandara ‘啧’Έ™ΦδΆ—….

5) Ten Butchou, juubutchou \•§’Έ, which are: Nine Butchou and Futsuu Butchou •’Κ•§’Έ.

The same Butchou may, however, be known by various names, and different enumerations of Eight, Nine, and Ten Butchou are also mentioned. Another important Butchou is Shijoukou Butchou ΰ•·Œυ•§’Έ, and some Butchou became the object of popular individual cults, e.g., Butchou Sonshou •§’Έ‘ΈŸ (Sk: Vijayosnisa) and Byakusangai ”’ŽPŠW (Sk: Sitatapatra), both popular goddesses in Indo-Tibetan Tantrism, and *Ichijikinrin ˆκŽš‹ΰ—Φ.
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