Ichijikinrin 一字金輪
KEY WORD : art history / Iconography
Lit. One-Syllable Golden Wheel. Also read Ichijikonrin and also known as Kinrin Butchou 金輪仏頂 (Golden-Wheel Buddha-Crown), Kidoku Butchou 奇特仏頂 (Marvellous Buddha-Crown) or Ichijichourin-ou 一字頂輪王 (One-Syllable Crown Wheel-King; Sk: Ekasarosnisacakravartin). An Esoteric Buddhist deity *Butchou 仏頂, personifying the single syllable bhrum (Jp: boron 勃ろん), said to encapsulate the virtues of all Buddhas and bodhisattvas *bosatsu 菩薩, and regarded as supreme among the Butchou, where the epithet "Golden Wheel," kinrin 金輪, referring to the most precious of the four wheels constituting one of the seven treasures regarded as signs of a wheel-king rinou 輪王 (Sk: cakravartin) or universal ruler. In Sino-Japanese Esoteric traditions two forms of Ichijikinrin are distinguished. The first is Dainichi Kinrin 大日金輪 who is similar in appearance to *Dainichi 大日 as he appears in the Diamond World mandala *Kongoukai mandara 金剛界曼荼羅, (with his hands displaying the knowledge-fist mudra *chiken-in 智拳印 and seated within a solar disc). The second is Shaka Kinrin 釈迦金輪, represented by Sakyamuni *Shaka 釈迦 with a golden wheel resting in the palms of his hands which are placed on his lap in the *hokkai jouin 法界定印. The former appears, for example, in a mandala specifically dedicated to him, called *Ichijikinrin mandara 一字金輪曼荼羅, while the latter appears in the Big Dipper mandala *hokuto mandara 北斗曼荼羅. A wooden image of Dainichi Kinrin is preserved at Chuusonji 中尊寺 in Iwate preferture, and two polychrome depictions from the early Kamakura period kept at Daigoji 醍醐寺 in Kyoto are also well-known.


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