Vaisravana (Japanese: Tamonten, or Bishamonten)

 
Artist
Creation date
Period
Kamakura
Materials
ink and color on silk
Dimensions
48 3/4 x 16 1/4 in. (image) 75 1/4 x 17 3/8 in. (overall) W: 19 1/4 in. (w/knobs) H: 3/4 in. (hanging cord)
Credit line
Dr. Kenneth R. Shaffer Fund
Accession number
2012.67
Collection
Not Currently On View

毘沙門天

Lordly in demeanor with a bright, piercing gaze, Bishamonten is the guardian of the north. His name means “Listens to the teachings of the Buddha,” and he protects every place the Buddha preaches. He holds a spear in his right hand and in his left a “treasure pagoda,” from which he distributes rewards to the deserving. As one of the Four Guardian Kings, he is the scourge of evildoers. In Japan he is also worshipped as a dispenser of wealth and one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune.

Private U.S. collection; (Kaikodo, New York, New York); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2012.
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