|CATEGORY: art history / sculptures|
| Also tenkan 天冠. A crown on a Buddhist sculpture.
Usually made in wood or bronze openwork *sukashibori
透彫, and sometimes decorated with precious stones or strings of jewels *youraku
瓔落. The crown was used on *Dainichi
大日 and *houkan Amida 宝冠阿弥陀 Buddhas,
and all bodhisattvas *bosatsu
菩薩 and guardian figures *myouou
明王 and *ten 天. Hokan were divided
into two types; those which cover the whole head, and those which ornament a part
of the head like a diadem. The first type included the *sanzankan
三山冠 (three-peaked crown) as seen on Yumedono Kannon 夢殿観音 in Houryuuji 法隆寺, Nara.
The second type was a tall cylindrical or hexagonal crown, as found on Fukuukenjaku
Kannon 不空羂索観音 in Toudaiji 東大寺, Nara, and Nyoirin Kannon 如意輪観音 in Kanshinji 観心寺,
Osaka. Diadem-style ornaments included sanmen toushoku 三面頭飾 (three-sided
crown) as on the Yumetagae Kannon 夢違観音 in Houryuuji 法隆寺, and decoration that used
petal shapes or series of small circles, often found on *Fudou
Myouou 不動明王. An ornamental band around the head forming the base of a crown
was called *tenkandai
天冠台. Ribbons that hung from the sides of a crown were known as *kantai
冠帯. Many houkan indicated the nature or identity of a deity : Nikkou Bosatsu
日光菩薩 wore a crown that bore a symbol of the sun, and Gakkou Bosatsu 月光菩薩 a symbol
of the moon. Many Kannon Bosatsu wore crowns that bore miniature figures called
*kebutsu 化仏. These were
manifestations of the various divine powers of the Kannon. (See *Juuichimen
Kannon 十一面観音). The *gochi
houkan 五智宝冠 worn by Dainichi bore five tiny images representing wisdom.
Crowns bearing kebutsu were usually supported by a simple tenkandai.
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