Yama (Japanese: Enmaten)

Creation date
ink and color on silk
48 3/4 x 16 3/16 in. (image) 75 1/8 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
Not Currently On View


Beneath his identifying Sanskrit character, the lively, red-bodied figure depicted here is Enmaten—the Buddhist version of Yama, Hindu lord of the underworld. He is believed to judge the dead and send them on to their appropriate destinations.

He belongs to an iconographic class called “Ten,” originally Indian gods who were incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon. These deities reside in any one of various heavens that exist on or above Mt. Sumeru, the colossal mountain that is the cosmological center of the universe.

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