houkan 宝冠
KEY WORD : 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 瓔珞. 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. Houkan ere 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 *Guze Kannon 救世観音 in Houryuuji *Yumedono 法隆寺夢殿, 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 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; see *Nikkou Gakkou 日光・月光. Many *Kannon 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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