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houju@
CATEGORY:@architecture / general terms ; art history / sculptures
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Also pronounced houshu. A sacred gem. Usually a ball or tear-drop shape object that is sacred to Buddhism. It is believed to have the power to expel evil, cleanse corruption, and fulfill wishes. See *nyoi houju @ӕ. The term *giboshi [ is often used to refer to the houju shape reproduced as an architectural decoration. This shape is used on the top of a pagoda *sourin , on the top of a pyramidal roof *hougyou-zukuri `, of a Buddhist hall *endou ~, on a stone lantern, ishidourou Γ, or on the sculptured head of railing pillars. Houju shaped pillar heads are called houjugashira 쓪; pillars topped with a houju are called houjubashira 쒌 or giboshibashira [쒌; and railings with this type of pillar are called *giboshi kouran [썂. The houju on pagodas and Buddhist halls are usually made of bronze and often decorated with flame designs. The houju with flames rising from it is called kaen houju Ή. When used as a decoration for a lantern, the tip of the ball may be sharply pointed or gently rounded depending on the date of the lantern's production, and may be supported by a lotus petal form *ukebana Generally, the earlier houju have more gentle points and are rounder in form. The tip becomes more sharply pointed and the form more square shaped in the Momoyama period.

A houju with a lotus petal base is found as an attribute *jimotsu of Buddhist figures such as *Jizou n, *Kokuuzou , and *Kichijouten g˓V, as seen on the 9c Jizou bosatsuzou nF in Houryuuji @, Nara.
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Koufukuji Nanendou ~ (Nara)
Koufukuji Nan-endou ~ (Nara)
@ Yuutenji Amidadou SVɓ (Tokyo)
Yuutenji Amidadou SVɓ (Tokyo)

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