@
Niou@m‰€
CATEGORY:@art history / iconography
@
Also written “ρ‰€. Also called *Niten “ρ“V and Niouson m‰€‘Έ. Lit. two kings or benevolent kings. A pair of temple guardians who stand on either side of a temple gate. Their fierce faces with glaring eyes, powerfully muscular bodies, and threatening poses bearing weapons, serve to ward off evil spirits. Typically the Niou are represented as nude from the waist up, although very early images wear chest armor. Generally one opens his mouth, in the *agyou ˆ’Œ` position (the shape of mouth saying "a" ‚  ) and holds a thunderbolt (Sk: vajra, Jp: *kongousho ‹ΰ„‹n), while the other closes his mouth, in the "ungyou ™έŒ`" position (the shape of mouth saying "un") and holds a large sword . They are sometimes called *Kongou rikishi ‹ΰ„—ΝŽm and Misshaku rikishi –§η‘—ΝŽm, respectively, indicating two different aspects of one deity named Misshaku kongou –§η‘‹ΰ„. However, there are various opinions as to the identities of the Niou, and none seems to clearly prevail. Iconographically, Niou are associated with *Shukongoushin Ž·‹ΰ„_. Chinese examples include large rock-cut sculptures at Longmen (Jp: Ryuumon —³–ε) and Yungang (Jp: Unkou ‰_‰ͺ). The earliest Japanese examples are the dry-lacquer *kanshitsu Š£Ž½ sculptures wearing armor and placed on the Buddhist altar, Shumidan {–ν’d at Sangatsudou ŽOŒŽ“°, Toudaiji “Œ‘εŽ› (also known as Kongou rikishi, 8c) , and the nude example at the *Chuumon ’†–ε of Houryuuji –@—²Ž› (711). The best known Niou are the huge images at the *Nandaimon “μ‘ε–ε of Toudaiji (1207) by Unkei ‰^Œc (?-1223) and Kaikei ‰υŒc (late 12c-early 13c).
@

@
leftF*agyou ˆ’Œ`@righrFungyou ™έŒ`
Toudaiji Nandaimon “Œ‘εŽ›“μ‘ε–ε (Nara)

@
REFERENCES:
@
EXTERNAL LINKS: 
@@
NOTES
@

(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System.@No reproduction or republication without written permission.
ŒfΪ‚ΜƒeƒLƒXƒgEŽΚ^EƒCƒ‰ƒXƒg‚ȂǁA‘S‚Δ‚ΜƒRƒ“ƒeƒ“ƒc‚Μ–³’f•‘»E“]Ϊ‚π‹Φ‚Ά‚ά‚·B
@