Antique Japanese Carved Wood Buddha
Tenman Tenjin 天満天神
Sugawara no Michizane 菅原 道眞
Circa: Edo Period, 19th Century
Aged in solid good condition!
Figure: H 10 in. (25cm), W 8 in. (20cm), D 4 in. (10cm)
Pedestal: H 3.7 in. (9cm), W 10.7 in. (27cm), D 6.7 in. (17cm)
This Edo period single block carving (Ichimoku-zukuri) evokes a spirited Tenman Tenjin 天満天神, the deification kami of Sugawara no Michizane (菅原 道眞, August 1, 845 – March 26, 903). As the Sky God who governs learning and academic success. He is a popular deity commonly worshipped in Shinto and Japanese folklore. The statue of Tenjin is often given as a present to children and scholars for academic success.
Due to centuries of worship, this smoke-darkened Tenjin is cloaked in dust, shadows over much of the fine details built on layers of paulownia paste (Toso ) on the wood core. Upon close observation, various embossed motifs are found on the matt black garment known as Shoroku. Complementing his Shinto Priest robe, he dons a tall court hat called an eboshi. He turned slightly to the side, his right hand resting on the raised knee, holding a shaku that resembles a large Sumi brush. With crystal inlays eyes, the Sky God appears in a benevolent serene countenance. He sits above an accordion-shaped pedestal, radiating an aura of timelessness; the statue has a patina of ages, some flaking gesso, and a couple of thin splits on the back. Conservatively dated 19th century.
Estimated Value $500
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