Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Bound with simple paper string and plain covers, these booklets contain personal notes on Buddhist precepts (rules for living) and liturgy. There are many examples of amendments and corrections throughout, and in some cases the author has even pasted additional sheets of paper to the original pages to create space for further commentary. Creases in the notebooks show that they were folded together before being placed inside the sculpture of Prince Shōtoku. Wood stains from prolonged contact with the interior of the sculpture on the booklet titled Discussion of the Buddhist Rite of Repentance indicate that it was placed outermost.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
A Discussion of Monk's Attire (Niehen)
Other Titles
Transliterated Title: Niehen
Work Type
Kamakura period, datable to circa 1292
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Kamakura period, Late or Nambokuchō
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Booklet manuscript; ink on paper; sheets of paper folded into double pages bound with a simple loop
H. 14.4 × W. 18 cm (5 11/16 × 7 1/16 in.)
[Yamanaka Shoji Co., Ltd, Awata Kyoto (1936)], sold; to Ellery Sedgwick, Beverly, MA, (1936-1960), passed; to his wife, Marjorie Russell, Beverly, MA (1960-1971), inherited; by Ellery Sedgwick, Jr., Gates Mills, Ohio, (1971-1991), inherited; by Walter Sedgwick, Woodside, CA, (1991-2019), partial and promised gift; to the Harvard Art Museums.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial and promised gift of Walter C. Sedgwick in memory of Ellery Sedgwick Sr. and Ellery Sedgwick Jr.
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

John M. Rosenfield, The Sedgwick Statue of the Infant Shotoku Taishi, Archives of Asian Art (1968-1969), Vol. XXII / pp. 56-79

Exhibition History

Prince Shōtoku: The Secrets Within, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/25/2019 - 08/11/2019

Related Works

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