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Research Center for Music Iconography, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Depictions of "Kugo" Harps in Japanese Buddhist Paintings Author(s): Susumu Kashima and Seishiro Niwa Source: Music in Art, Vol. 24, No. 1/2 (Spring-Fall 1999), pp. 56-67 Published by: Research Center for Music Iconography, The Graduate Center, City University of New
York

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Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

SusumuKashima,Depictions of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Buddhist Painting*

1. Kugoharpfrom theShs-in Nara.A replica of an Treasures, the8th-century. from instrument approximately

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Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima,Depictions Paintings of Kugo Harps in Japanese

Music in Ari XXIV/1-2(1999)

Depictions

Buddhist

Paintings

Susumu Kashima Tokyo

ofkugoharpsin theJapanese Buddhist whichoccurred in thedepictions Thispapersurveys paintings, changes Rather thandisand raigzupaintings ofjdokyteachings. of mikky based on themandalapaintings teachings thefocusis on theiconography of thekugoharpsand their of thekugoitself, and thehistory theorigins cussing of whichscholars have The paperalso showspitfalls of theactualshapeof theinstrument. development regardless from of iconographie sourcesforthekugo to be awarewhenstudying , whichcould emerge misreadings Japanese artists theerrors sourcesand resemble out,weremadeby theRenaissance which,as EmanuelWinternitz pointed the of which have their in The pitfalls in question and archeologists.1 only origins depictions imaginary kugoharps, In other resulted from theerrors madebypainters as musical instruments. thetrained words,they eyecan recognize to maketheconclusion that theinstruments in such itwouldbe wrong and Buddhist and therefore depicted priests, have everexisted. pictures and archedtypes.A pair of angular in ancient kugo Japanwereof boththeangular Kugo harpsthatexisted in and resemble instruments found in a Mesoin the Shs-in Treasures Nara has been 1], [fig, they harps preserved B.C. This typeof harpis also presented on a copy of thesethesixthor seventh century potamia relieffrom A.D. e-ingaky hand,thearchedkugocan be foundonlyin iconographie [fig. 2].2 On theother venth-century or not thistypeof instrument ever actually and it is not clear whether sources.No exampleof it has survived, is held withthe also called sometimes in Japan.The archedkugo existed , Qi-nocke kugo) [fig.3], hshukugo while the the saun of Burma like soundbox in a horizontal kugois held (Myanmar) [fig.4], angular gauk position, vertically. mandala of thearched The oldestsurviving [fig.5-5a].3The original kugois a ninth-century painting depiction theninth to the in was the Chinese mandala. From of the sourceof suchmandala century mikky Japan paintings and redrawn in the mandala of was this Kamakura paintings, repeatedly copied period(14thcentury), type kugoharp to of depicting thisprocessitsappearance and during kugowas thenintroduced gradually changed.The tradition which further established since the Heian of the (794-1185), period popular jdokyteachings, raigzupaintings and in laterperiods, of depicting thekugo. The raigzuimageswererepeatedly thetradition copiedand redrawn as late as theMuromachi was occuring in iconography its gradualdeterioration (1339-1574) and Edo periods theimagesof the centuries of copying and reproducing played.After (1615-1867),whenthekugowas no longer The sound almost seemed a different instrument. deteriorated that it so much was now its instrument, appearance did thelyreof a stick-like and As of a neck and it consisted box disappeared, (a frame), component, strings. only function and could exist deformed lost its musical Western the in Greekantiquity art, onlyin the kugo depicted worldof an image. two-dimensional of the wenton regardless of theactualappearance of thekugoin iconography that thedeformation It is notable ofkugoharpscanbe explained between theimagesand actualfigures itself. Sucha separation instrument by tracing whenthekugocametobe drawn after theeleventh of theraigzupaintings of thereproductions theprocess century, of a kugo on a fourteenth-century For example, thana musicalinstrument. as a ritual , the depiction object,rather a stick with a fork-like of a curved an hand holds in his ornament, disc, three-legged consisting object right person with a nimbus behind hishead.This on a lotusflower, andstands is crowned andseveral strings [fig.6]. The figure is a bodhisattva (bosatsu),and he holdsa kugoharp.However,sucha kugowouldbe uselessas a musical figure box. becauseit lackstheresonance instrument, 57

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Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Buddhist SusumuKashima, Paintings Depictions

in the The tradition of depicting kugohad its origins such esoteric doctrines of mikky and it reached teachings, and reof copying centuries imaginative depiction through in icoThis kindof picture could be confusing drawing. to that this studies if scholars were believe and, nographie of the the actual musical instrument describes time, picture one that wouldfallintoa trap, thesameerror they making thelyresdepicted couldmakein examining by theRenaisinstruJust sanceartists. as painters have to knowmusical rethemanner in whichthey are played,and other ments, need to have lated matters, scholarsexamining pictures When of music and the musicalinstruments. knowledge can understand the instruments, depictthem they painters available or are not if instruments However, accurately.4 are even obsolete, painterscannot sketchtheiractual 2. A copyof e-ingaky but have to copy themfromvisual sources (detail,ca. 8thcentury). appearance, from earlier periods.Even whensuch sourcesdo notprein which senta trueform of theinstrument or themanner another Suchcopiesthen in thesourcematerials. as they are depicted wouldcopythem itwais held,artists produce of distorted to be transmitted. As a an error continues and of inaccurate result, copies generations copies, generation follow. calledrygai whichare moreprecisely . Mandalapaintings, of themikky Kugo harps in mandala paintings and of vajradhtu-mandala mandala(mandalaof twoworlds),consist mandara) garbhadhtu-mandala (kongkai ofbodhisattvas andhundreds In this (Dainichi Mahvairocana-tathgata Nyorai) mandara). (taizkai pairofmandala, - manis thevajradhtu The mainsourceof kugodepictions are locatedin their sacredfigures and other positions. of theChngYng Yu SM dala [fig.7].5 In his study Kishibe concluded ofMusic], Shigeo [Chng Yng'sTreatise the used China were in of that three during types kugo (horizontal kugo),sh-knghu w-knghu Tangperiod: (=hshu kugo; (vertical kugo), andfngshou-knghu hneckedkugo). He claimsthatthevertical kugobethe of Assyrian angular harps,and that longsto a family drawn h-neckod apparently unskilfully, kugois, though an archedharp.6He also said thatthe kugo in vajrais also which was of theA<5<5-necked dhtu-mandala type, sutra is callAn old mikky fcwga. Vajragti-bodhisattva's of thisbodhisattva. ed so becauseit is theattribute their hairtied, with areusually Bodhisattvas depicted heavenly jewelled crownson theirheads, and wearing breastplates. The attributes withornamented costumes toanother. one bodhisattva Vajraglgi-bodhisatvaryfrom sutra to an old mikky tvaholdsa kugoharp.According , Mahvathe of bringing part "plays Vajraglti-bodhisattva takesa s subtlevoice. The bodhisattva irocana-tathgata' is a kugoharp. Her attribute of a celestial form nymph. She holdsit in herleft hand,and playsit withherright . . " [fig.5]. to theright. hand.She bendsherneckslightly do However,thekugoharpsin thevajradhtu-mandala the not have . do not look like A0<5-necked kugo They of theh's headsat theendof a spoon-shaped ornament end of a ritual have the three-legged neck, but instead had itsorigin calledsankosho item [fig.8]. The sankosho the with in arms,and it is notclearwhyitwas combined thatsuch a kugoharp It is unlikely musicalinstrument. a ofavalokites 3. Abata(a form vdara-bodhisattva) holding in reality. witha sankohead existed half of the 12th A from the second harp. manuscript kugo The oldestsourceforsuccessive copies was among century. 58

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Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima,Depictions Paintings

Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

Kkai that ofmikky items sutrasandritual thenumerous of the Shingonsect, imported (778-835), the founder China[fig.9]. Besidesvariousritual from items, rygai mandala is a pair of scrolls,whichare put on thewall services.Kkai's originalcopy was duringthemikky The oldestof lost,buta fewcopies of it have survived. in 833 A.D. or earlier, them is Takao Mandala,produced at theJingoji is preserved which Templein Takao, Kyoto It is drawnwithgold and silverink on a Prefecture. purple silk screen. Its size is enormous:vajradhtu mandalahas 411X366,5 cm and garbhadhtu-mandala theTakao Mandala,its from has 446,4X406,3 cm. Apart has survived theninth coloredcopy(also from century), at theTji (Kygokokuji) Temple[fig.10]. It is smaller Its is beautiful. thanTakao Mandala, but its coloration size is vajradhtu-mandala 183,5x164,2 cm and garbhadhtu-mandala 183,5x164,2 cm. other twomandates, Besidesthese copiesfrom many and later have been preservedin the ninthcentury sect- one of the As theShingon various mikky temples. and ofpriests the number became sects popular, mikky devoteesincreased.Accordingly, many templeswere newlybuiltand theyneeded ritualitemsand mandala and priests service.Painters fortheir cooperpaintings 4. SaungaukofBurma. atedto produce and,as a repaintings copiesof mandala Some sult, many copies were producedsuccessively. to afford not could temples produce fully painted pictures withblackink,on smallpiecesof paper. drawn withpictures, on largesilk scrollsand had to be satisfied simply in manytemples. Thesehave beenpreserved itis hardly s kugo.Atpresent, a seriesof copiesof Vajraglti-bodhisattva' possibleto trace Figs. 11-15present are these for and its source the between a relationship documents in written roughly They arranged examples. copy Thereis no exampleof the thevajradhtu-mandala are all from orderhere,and they in chronological paintings. of the as symbols are depicted alone,on lotusflowers, Instead, they kugoheldandplayedby Vajraglti-bodhisattva. forBuddhas, are calledpundarfka suchlotusflowers In Buddhism, bodhisattva. (rengeza)and serveas pedestals whichmeansthat are puton lotusflowers, The kugoharpsthemselves sacredfigures. and other they bodhisattvas,

a kugoharp 5. Vajraglti-bodhisattva (9thcentury). holding of vajradhtu-mandala Detail ofTakaoMandala.

in fig.5 shown oftheimage 5a. Outline drawing 59

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Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

SusumuKashima, of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Buddhist Depictions Paintings Carelesseyes might takethelotusflowers symbolize Vajragti-bodhisattva. fortheresonance boxesof theinstruments. Like theprevious these examples, endsof thesankosho.The strings are putof kugoharpshave theprolonged between theresonance boardand theneck.In detail, is slightly each example different from the others.One even has small stick-like components, presumably pegs, at theend of theneck. . Raigzu paintings of thejdoky Kugo harps in raigzu ofjdoky thetradition of depicting themandalapaintings of adopted kugoharpsfrom becamea favourite element of raigzupaintings. In Japan, , and they mikky from the new Buddhist movement in the jdoky emerged mikky during Heianperiod(llth-13th In the late Heian became centuries). period, jdoky as well as aristocrats. popularamongpeasants Accordingly, manyraigzu wereproduced, AmitbhaBuddhacoming downfrom the paintings showing Pure Land to welcomethedyingdevotees.Many raigzupaintings of the and Muromachi in various Heian, Kamakura, periodshave been preserved are There three of temples. (1) Amitbha-Buddha types raigzupaintings: downalone,(2) Amitbha-Buddha downwithtwobodhisattcoming coming down in the of many bodhivas, and (3) Amitbha-Buddha coming company sattvas. in which Kugo harpsappearin thethird typeof raigzupaintings, Amitbha-Buddha sitsor stands on a cloud. Manybodhisattvas are similarly on clouds. Some are dancing and others are playing musicin an ensemble. Thistype of raigzuis calledamidanijgobosatsuraigzu(raigzuofAmitbha-Buddha and Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas) [fig. 16], or amida shj of Amitbha-Buddha and Sacred of raigzu(Raigzu Figures).The number

6. NijgoBosatsuRaigzuEtobira of Raigzu of Twen(DoorPaintings detail. Bodhisattvas), ty-Five Zenrinji Middle ofthe14th century. Temple. bodhisattvas couldbe exactly twenty or sometimes even more.The -five, discussionfocuseson the following withmanymusiraigzu paintings cianbodhisattvas. Genshin(942-1017), who was forpopularizing responsible jdoky saidin hisNijgo in teachings Japan, Bosatsu Wasan [In Praise of the thatthe Bodhisattvas] Twenty-Five of Shnkugoharpwas theattribute haihu-bodhisattva (Sankaie Bosasu). He did notmention thekugoharpin detail, however, but said that its nature sound"represents thepeaceful oftathat true form of (the beings)". The bodhisattva in thewelcoming troupeare dancingand playing music,whichmeansthatAmitbhaBuddhacomes downwiththeatmosphereof the Pure Land. Sukhvaofvajradhtu-mandala a kugo (A = Vajraglti-bodhisattvas holding andother sutras 7. Theoutline t-vyha (Amidaky) = kugo = other as of bodhisattvas harp; harps symbols Vajragti-bodhisattva; say, "the Pure Land is locatedun- andsacred figures). 60

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Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima,Depictions Paintings

Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

faraway in west.It is full imaginably boof happymood, wherenumerous dhisattvas serve Amitbha-Buddha. bodhisattvas andsaother There,many cred figuresgo by and serve the Buddha with various instruments. They make the mostpleasantsoundsin na ture.Thereare everykindof dances, too...." 8. A sankosho. The oldestexampleof raigzuin bodhiJapanwhichincludesmusician on thedoorsof Uji Bydin(completed in 1053). This is a series sattvas seemsto be theKuhonRaigzu,painted are and therefore notveryclearin their detail.However,there whichhave beenbadlydamaged of ninepaintings, from these doorpaintings, thefamous AmidaShjuRaigzu as beingplayed.Apart kugoharpsdepicted apparently is another in Yshi Hachimank Jhachikain, Prefecture, Kyasan,Wakayama (secondhalfof the 12thcentury) on a silk screen Its main of raigzu[fig.17]. This is a colored old example (210x420 cm). bodyis divided picture are in a frontal There are fifteen all the other view. and almost Amitba-Buddha intothree figures depicted parts. - whichare all - three fourwinds,and eight in thepicture musicalinstruments instruments, percussions stringed of theJapanese and winds)and peris a mixture shownbeingplayed.This combination gagakuorchestra (strings of theright in themiddle band. The kugois located cussions of theBuddhist edge of thepicture [fig.18]. ceremony of mikky. mandala thoseheldby Vajraglti-bodhisattvain Thiskugoharpresembles paintings Thoughmissing box. Six strings are putin a rectangular resonance ithas a sankohead and a disc-shaped thelotusflowers, pattern aroundthestrings. The boxes are placedsymmetrically board. A pairof C-shapedresonance from theresonance of a biwa. in detailin theresonance is depicted woodensurface board,whichlooks likethat

Detail. ofTakaoMandala. 9. A vajradhtu-mandala

Detail(9th 10. A vajradhtu-mandala. century). 61

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Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima, Buddhist Depictions Paintings

ofa vajradhtu-mandala from attheDaigojiTemple. 11-14.Fourrenderings manuscripts are the 12th and 13-14 from the 11-12 from 13th Figs. century figs. century. to tracetherelationship it is againdifficult between thesourceand its As in thecase of old mandala paintings, an of such a 19-22 succession of copies. All of in these However, raigzupaintings. copy figs. present example Some have of the resonanceboxes are more problematic. the kugos have the satiko heads. The depictions that looklikefilms. This type resonance of resonance box often has boxes,whichcouldbe so thin they disc-shaped ornaments. Thereseemsto be a decorative motif of lotus-flowers items have scale-like ritual petals.ManyBuddhist items. makethekugoharpslooklikeritual In theother similar ornaments. Theseornaments theresonance example, instruas a stick, rather than a disc, and thisseemsto be too muchdestorted to be calleda musical box is depicted whilethelowerpartmayrepresent theside view ment.The upperpartof theL-shapedstick(neck?) is curved, box. resonance of thedisc-shaped a depiction of kugoin a raigzuengraving of theEdo period.The lowerhalfof the Finally,fig.23 presents of another bodhisattva is hiding be seen,becausethenimbus it. The manner of holding this cannot instrument kugo a the same as that of the instrument of the modern This seems to be shamisen, Japanese stringed age. example harp of iconographie form after centuries how muchkugolostitsoriginal transmission. illustrates Translated Niwa by Seishiro

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Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Susumu Kashima,Depictions Paintings Notes Glossary

1-2 (1999) Music in ArtXXIV/

1 Cf. C. = Chinese. S. = Sanskrit; J.= Japanese; Potential Abbreviations: of Music: "The Emanuel Winternitz, Iconology E.O.D. Ed. . S. and Brook, Pitfalls", inMusicology. by Perspectives York: S. van Solkema and Press, 1985), amida Downes, (New Pendragon -+raigzu. bosatsu (J), raigzu nijCigo pp.80-81. amida (J), raigzu. shj raigzu 2 Some here as outline arepresented illustrations drawings of sutra () = a central teachings. jdoky (J); mitujing Amidaky ofthe since made from editions, original good photographs printed mitu Rii Amida Amitbha-Buddha () = (J); (S); Nyorai available. materials arenot who has the of feature which the central is Buddha, Jdoky 3 The rituals used inthe mandala isa graphic mikky diagram, Pure Land. tothe iconodeities ofBuddhist according arranged systematically who work bodhisattva Buddhas, () = future (J); (S); bosatsu ps rules. graphical earth. on to save the hard people 4 Forfurther seeSusumu onthis discussion Kashima, issue, of futu hotoke Buddha butsuda, () = the figures (J); supreme (S); ofthe inRaigozu ofDrums "The Paintings: Application Description the world. of all the who know Buddhism, Tathgata principles of of Musical to a Research Iconography Geometry Descriptive ofBuddha. isanother name onEngineering 6th International Conference of Japan", Proceeding = the Chinese writer from The and (618-907). Tang period Yng (Tokyo: Japan Chng Geometry Computer Graphics Descriptive title of 101-105. vol. for = (The 1, A Chinese Science, Music. Treatise 1994) Sha Cheng pp. Yu Society Graphic of Yang's Yng Chng word "drums" the the article of the three described misspelled.) in which treatise gives kugo types Cheng Yang 5 Thedetailed is omitted ofkugo allocation ofthe harps. analysis marks infig. and here. of Kako Genzai 7). version (Seethe () = illustrated (J); huiynguojng e-ingaky 6 Shigeo was which Buddha's ofthe Instruments Tdai-no popular biography), [Musical (Skyamuni Ingaky Kishibe, gakki centuries, and seventh sixth the and inChina Gakkai Senshu. ,ii(Tokyo: during Japan Period], Ongaku Ty Ongaku Ty Tang 170ff. noTomo sha, 1995), Ongaku h, shu-knghu, kugo, ();h-necked kugo, fngshou-knghu and w-knghu. mntlu mandara (J); Tizngji (S);taizkai garbhadhtu-mandala = and mandala mandala. one of the vajradhtu() rygai mandala. = a priest the for Genshin popularizing (942-1017) responsible and Wasan Bosatsu in teachingsJapan. NijCigo jdoky . Shnhaihu-bodhisattva = a when toappear is said ofChina that bird h(J) a legendary as "phoenix", Often translated the nation. rules emperor good ofBuddhism, worshipping () = a school (J); jigntujio jdoky death, after Pure Land togotothe Amitbha-Buddha from toancient Japan () = a harp exported (J);knghu kugo -+ and China. fngshou-knghu, wu-knghu. shu-knghu, = the who ofthe Kukai sect, brought Shingon (778-835) originator from mandala andritual sutras numerous items, including -*Shingon sect. China. inUjiBydin. door ofnine Kuhon (J)= a series paintings Raigzu as"Phoenix translated and often is also called Hd, Bydin -+h. Hall". Rli Dir (C)= (J); (S); Dainichi Nyorai Mahvairocana-tathgata which of the The central a Buddha. teachings, is figure mikky mandala center ofthe inthe drawn paintings. . Bodhisattvas Wasan Bosatsu (J)= InPraise ofTwenty-Five Nijgo Shnhaihui he mentioned in which of Genshin A treatise - Shnhaihuiand Genshin of the sound and -bodhisattva kugo. bodhisattva. ofBuddhism, () ==esoteric teachings (J); mjio mikky of linhuzu mandara mandala () = graphic diagram (J); (S); of consists It rituals. in used Buddhist deities, vajradhmikky Detail(Kamakura 15. A vajradhtu-mandala. period). 63

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dusicin ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

SusumuKashima, of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Buddhist Depictions Paintings

Bosatsu 16. Amida ofAmitbha-Buddha andTwenty-Five Freer (Raigzu Bodhisattvas). Nijgo Raigzu Gallery ofArt, D.C. (14th Washington, century). - tu-mandala and tu-mandala and mentioned Bosatsu Wasan. inhisNijgo This gaibhadhtu-mandala vajradh byGenshin . bodhisattva does not seem to be of Indian but to have garbhadhtu-mandala origin, been invented inChina. hisname cannot beproperly Thus, linhuzu inthe (S); rengeza (J); () = a pedestal pundanka shape out in Sanskrit. spelled ofa lotus flower for bodhisattvas andother sacred Buddhas, InSanskrit, other names arealsoused, sect inJapan that Kkai (sect) (J)= a mikky figures. Shingon originated, = a vertical of that (J); () = paintings ();Tatekugo (J) raigzu liyingt jdoky teachings depict shu-knghu kugo. fengshou-kngAmitbha-Buddha other sacred from and hu, (and figures) descending kugo, w-knghu. the Pure Land towelcome devotees, = dying Takao Mandala oldest of Kkai's mandaS) the (J, surviving copy item oen in833. la,produced (J);snguchu (); triankuh (S) = a ritual snguchu combined with kugo. mandara mandala (S); kongkai (J)= a rygai vajradhtu-mandala = -* shamisen a instrument since the Edo which includes a (J) Japanese stringed popular kugo depiction. garbhadtu-mandala. - (1615-1867). period (); Fushikugo (J)= a horizontal w-knghu kugo. fengshouBosatsu and Shnhaihui-bodhisattva (,S); Sankaie (J)= a bodhisattva knghu, kugo, shu-knghu.

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Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima, Paintings Depictions

Music in ArtXXIV/ 1-2 (1999)

YshiHachimank andSacred ofAmitbha-Buddha Juhachikain, 17. Amida Kyasan, Figures). (Raigzu ShjuRaigzu 12th half of the Prefecture (second century). Wakayama

of fig.17 anditsoutline Detail a kugo 18. A bodhisattva drawing. harp. playing 65

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Music in ArtXXIV/1-2(1999)

Buddhist of Kugo Harpsin Japanese SusumuKashima, Paintings Depictions

downto 19. The raig scene (Amitba-Buddha coming Mandara Taima thedying welcome devotees). Engi (The An of TaimaMandara). of theCreation Story Backgound illustrated (13th century). Temple Kmyji part.

Bosatsu Detail. 20. Amida Temple Nijgo Raigzu. Shdji (14th century).

of fig.16. Detail Bosatsu 21. Amida Raigozu. Nijugo 66

22. NijugoBosatsu (16th Raigzu.Detail.EnjijiTemple century)

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Buddhist Susumu of Kugo Harpsin Japanese Kashima,Depictions Paintings

Music in ArtXXIV/ 1-2 (1999)

Bosatsu 23. Amida (Edo period). Raigozu Nijugo

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