Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

The texts sealed inside the sculpture of Prince Shōtoku indicate that the group of people who placed them there did not adhere rigidly to a single sectarian stream of Buddhist practices, but put their faith in a variety of devotional beliefs and merit-making activities. The printed text mounted at the top of this board is an invocation against epidemic diseases. The manuscript sheet at bottom right describes a meditation centered on visualization of the monk-deity Jizō. Patterns of staining on the two sheets of paper suggest that the smaller visualization text may have been rolled inside the larger printed text before being placed inside the sculpture.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2019.122.10
Title
Four Sheets of Paper inscribed with Religious Texts, Poems, Charms [mounted on a board]
Classification
Calligraphy
Work Type
calligraphy
Date
Kamakura period, datable to circa 1292
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Period
Kamakura period, 1185-1333
Culture
Japanese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/96652
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink on paper
Dimensions
H. 30.5 x W. 40.6 cm (12 x 16 in.)
Provenance
[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
2019.122.10
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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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

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 am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu