nindoumon 忍冬文
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A floral and vine design pattern that is a variation of a Chinese grass motif *karakusamon 唐草文, hence also referred to as nindou karakusa 忍冬唐草 or asuka karakusa 飛鳥唐草. Although the term nindoumon may be directly translated into English as honeysuckle pattern, the motif is actually derived from an Egyptian water lily and is more appropriately included in the anthemion or palmette motifs. The design was transmitted via the Silk Road through the Middle East, China, and Korea to Japan, where it became very popular during the 7-8c. It was used especially in the detailing of Buddhist sculpture and architecture, as well as various craft works such as metal utensils and silk fabric. Well-known early examples are found in the various art works housed in Houryuuji 法隆寺, such as the decorative reliefs on the halo *kouhai 光背 of *Guze Kannon 救世観音 in *Yumedono 夢殿, the brocade pattern of the Shitennou 四天王, a gilted ceremonial banner *kanjouban 潅頂幡 as well as on roof tiles.


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