shari youki 舎利容器
KEY WORD :  art history / crafts
Reliquary. A container for the bones of the Buddha *shari 舎利 placed in a stupa or pagoda. In Japan the Buddha's bones were replaced with other precious materials or even grains of unhulled rice. Usually, the shari youki was placed in or near a stone at the base of the *shinbashira 心柱 (heart pillar) at the center of a pagoda, although some are placed in other locations such as the top of the shinbashira. They are usually square, round or oval. Typically there were from two to six containers, each inside the next, with the protective outer one made of stone, then ceramic, wood, crystal, copper, silver and gold, with the innermost container usually made of glass. Shari youki were sometimes buried along with shougongu 荘厳具, implements from Buddhist altars that were then given the name shari shougongu 舎利荘厳具.


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