houjumon 宝珠文
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also houshumon. A design of spherical jewels with slightly pointed tops, frequently with frames rising from the sides. Originally a Buddhist symbol, the *houju 宝珠 was thought to have supernatural power to grant one's desires. Therefore it was also known as the jewel of comfort *nyoi houju 如意宝珠 and was included in the implements of Esoteric Buddhism. Accordingly, it is found in the hands of statues of *Jizou 地蔵 and *Kannon 観音, and pagodas, stone lanterns and bridge ornaments were made imitating the shape. At some point the symbol came to be frequently used by Inari jinja 稲荷神社, perhaps because the flames were considered to be a manifestation of the Inari deity. As a design, it was used on a wide variety of objects including ceramics and fabrics, especially during the Edo period. It has sometimes been translated into English as a pearl or flaming pearl design.


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