nyoi 如意
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
An implement carried by Buddhist priests at a ceremony or during formal preaching. It has a slightly curved handle about 30-40 cm long, and the head either splays out with a straight edge, or is shaped like the Chinese character shin, meaning heart. The nyoi was derived from a back-scratcher, but was adopted as a symbolic implement in the early years of Indian Buddhism. A wide variety of materials were used to make nyoi, including gilt bronze, gold, silver, lead, coral, tortoise shell, rhinoceros horn, boxwood, bamboo, and other woods. Famous examples can be seen in the *Shousouin 正倉院, Nara, and in Daigoji 醍醐寺, Kyoto. Priests are sometimes shown holding a nyoi in portrait statues, for example the statue of Rouben 良弁 (689-773) in Toudaiji 東大寺, Nara.

*jimotsu 持物 

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