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Sonshou mandara@‘¸Ÿ™Ö䶗…
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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A variety of *besson mandara •Ê‘¸™Ö䶗… that evolved from the cult centered on the BUTCHOU SONSHOU DARANI •§’¸‘¸Ÿ‘É—…“ò (Sk: Usnisavijaya-dharan; Taishou Nos. 967, etc.). It is used in the Sonshou rite, Sonshouhou ‘¸Ÿ–@, which is performed for longevity and the absolution of sins, and among the many types of besson mandara, examples of the Sonshou mandara are particularly numerous. There are three main types of this msndala *mandara ™Ö䶗…. In the first type *Dainichi ‘å“ú is depicted in the center surrounded by the eight great *Butchou •§’¸ (Buddha-Crown), while *Fudou Myouou •s“®–¾‰¤ and *Gouzanze Myouou ~ŽO¢–¾‰¤, the two chief *myouou –¾‰¤, are depicted to the lower left and lower right respectively. Fudou Myouou is drawn inside a triangle and Gouzanze Myouou inside a semicircle because they are considered to correspond to the elements of fire and wind, which are symbolized by a triangle and a semicircle. There are many examples of this variety of Sonshou mandara, including those at Houjuin •óŽõ‰@, Mt. Kouya ‚–ì in Wakayama prefecture, and Daigoji ‘çŒíŽ› in Kyoto and two each at Onjouji ‰€éŽ› (Miidera ŽOˆäŽ›) in Shiga prefecture and Touji “ŒŽ› (Kyouougokokuji ‹³‰¤Œì‘Ž›) in Kyoto. In the second type Dainichi is surrounded not by the eight great Butchou but by the eight bodhisattvas *bosatsu •ìŽF listed in the HACHIDAIBOSATSU MANDARAKYOU ”ª‘å•ìŽF™Ö䶗…Œo (Taishou No. 1167); no polychrome examples of this mandara have, however, been reported, and there exist only line drawings *hakubyou ”’•`. The third type omits the eight great Butchou altogether and consists only of the triad of Dainichi, Fudou Myouou and Gouzanze Myouou; an example is found at Kongouji ‹à„Ž› in Osaka, and the three images of these deities enshrined in the Kondou ‹à“° of the same temple are a well-known example of a three-dimensional representation of this mandara.
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