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Jinja Taishou@[Ή‘叫
CATEGORY:@art history / iconography
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Also read Jinja Daishou. Lit. General Deep-Sand. A divinity said to have appeared in a dream to the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim and translator Hsuan-tsang (Jp: Genjou ŒΊšχ; 600/602-664) in order to encourage him when he had become lost in the desert in Central Asia on his way to India.
According to the monk Jougyou ν‹Ε (?-866), who introduced this deity to Japan, his cult was extremely popular in China at the time and he was regarded as a manifestation of *Tamonten ‘½•·“V, guardian of the northern direction *Bishamonten ”ωΉ–ε“V. He may assume one of a variety of fearsome two-armed forms, often with snakes coiled around his wrists and ankles and a string of skulls around his neck. His belly is adorned with a child's face, he wears a tiger's skin around his waist, and his knees may each be covered by an elephant's head hanging down from his underskirt. A well-known statue of him is that by Kaikei ‰υŒc (?1183-1236?) at Kongouin ‹ΰ„‰@ in Maizuru •‘’ί, Kyoto, and others include those at Toudaiji “Œ‘εŽ› in Nara and Yokokuraji ‰‘‘ Ž› in Gifu prefecture. Jinja Taishou is also often found together with Hsuan-tsang in depictions of the sixteen Good deities *juuroku zenshin \˜Z‘P_, regarded as tutelary gods of the 600-fascicle DAIHANNYAKYOU ‘ε”ΚŽαŒo (The Great Wisdom Sutra) which was translated into Chinese by Hsuan-tsang.
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