painting proper Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Womb World Mandala (Taizōkai mandara)
Other Titles
Transliterated Title: Taizōkai mandara
Work Type
hanging scroll, painting
13th century
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Kamakura period, 1185-1333
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2740, Buddhist Art, The Efflorescence of East Asian and Buddhist Art
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Hanging scroll; gold on silk
painting proper: 90.4 x 79.3 cm (35 9/16 x 31 1/4 in.)
mounting, including cord and roller ends: 192.8 x 101.3 cm (75 7/8 x 39 7/8 in.)
scroll mounting: 187.8 x 94.8 cm (73 15/16 x 37 5/16 in.)
110 x 13.5 x 14.2 cm (43 5/16 x 5 5/16 x 5 9/16 in.) (storage, Box)
[James J. Freeman, Kyoto, (by 1976)], sold; to Sylvan Barnet and William Burto, Cambridge, MA, (1976-2014), gift from Sylvan Barnet and bequest from William Burto; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2014.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Sylvan Barnet and William Burto in honor of John M. Rosenfield
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, "Bodily Gift and Spiritual Pledge: Human Hair in Japanese Buddhist Embroideries", Orientations, Orientations Magazine Ltd. (Hong Kong, January/February 2004), vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 31-35, p. 33, fig. 2

John M. Rosenfield and Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, Journey of the Three Jewels: Japanese Buddhist Paintings from Western Collections, exh. cat., Asia Society Museum (New York, NY, 1979), pp. 76-79, cat. 14

Sudô Hirotoshi, "Uesugi jinja Yonezawa ryôkai mandara ni tsuite", Bijutsushi-gaku (Kawauchi, Japan, 1982), no. 4, p. 52, fig. 13-15

Anne Nishimura Morse and Samuel Crowell Morse, Object as Insight: Japanese Buddhist Art & Ritual, exh. cat., Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah, NY, 1995), pp. 96-98, cat. 37

Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography, University of Hawaii Press (Honolulu, 1999), pls. 10-12

London Gallery, Ltd. and Ôkura Shûkokan, Buddha's Smile: Masterpieces of Japanese Buddhist Art, exh. cat., London Gallery, Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan, 2000), p. 178-179, cat. 99

John Rosenfield, "Escaping Deadly Strife in the Art World: The Barnet and Burto Collection", Orientations, Orientations Magazine Ltd. (Hong Kong, October 2002), vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 45-53, p. 47, fig. 2

Sylvan Barnet and William Burto, "Thinking Back, Looking Closely: Reflections on Collecting Japanese Art", Oriental Art, Oriental Art Magazine (London, 2002), vol. XLVIII, no. 2, pp.43-54, p. 48, fig. 4

Miyeko Murase and Masako Watanabe, The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 2002), pp. 76-83, no. 19

Ann Yonemura, Faith & Form: Selected Calligraphy and Painting from the Japanese Religious Traditions, brochure, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Washington, DC, 2004), n.p., fig. 2

Anne Rose Kitagawa and Yukio Lippit, Marks of Enlightenment, Traces of Devotion: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 5, fig. 4

Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 43

Francesca Herndon-Consagra, Reflections of the Buddha, exh. cat., Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis, MO, 2011-2012), p. 5 (color plate); p. 44, no. 19

Daniel Grant, "Museum Acquisitions: Top Picks of 2014", Antiques and Fine Art Magazine (2015), XIIV, 1, pp. 128-137

Exhibition History

Buddhist Art: The Later Tradition (1993), Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/14/1993 - 01/23/1994

Marks of Enlightenment, Traces of Devotion: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/23/2004 - 04/17/2005

32Q: 2740 Buddhist II, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/11/2014 - 05/21/2015; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/19/2019 - 12/30/2021

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at