manjimon 万字文
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also written 卍文. A decorative pattern symbolizing good fortune, popularly known as the swastika motif. It is though to have entered China from India in connection with Buddhism, and was eventually adopted as a Chinese character. Its earliest appearance in Japan is as an inscription on the leg of the Yakushi Sanzonzou 薬師三尊像 (697) in Yakushiji 薬師寺, Nara. From the Heian period on, it often appeared on the crests of families and temples. The bent legs of the symbol were sometimes extended for some distance, symbolizing long-lasting or unending good fortune. In addition, the manji 万字 was an element in interlocking patterns such as the linked swastika pattern *manjitsunagi 万字繋 and *sayagata 紗綾形.
nagaremanji 流れ万字


(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.