tankei 単髻
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A single topknot. Hair tied on top of the head in a simple round topknot *houkei 宝髻. This hairstyle is found on *bosatsu 菩薩 and *ten 天 images, most commonly on Heian period Esoteric Buddhist images. On *Juuichimen Kannon 十一面観音, for example, the hair is hidden by a ring of small heads crowning the main images, so a simple, undecorated hairstyle was considered appropriate. Other Heian period works have a larger tankei, still rounded and simple in style, but accentuated at the front by a double band. Single topknots are extremely rare after the Kamakura period.


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