Japanese Collection

Jar with Sculptural Rim
Jar with Sculptural Rim

Jar with Sculptural Rim

Japan
Jomon period (c. 10,500–300 B.C.)
2500–1000 B.C.
Low-fired clay
16 9/16 x 14 15/16 in. (42 x 38 cm)
APx 1974.03
Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling braided or twisted ropes across the surface of moist clay vessels in the Neolithic period in Japan, which is thus known as the Jomon period.
Female Figurine
Female Figurine

Female Figurine

Japan
Jomon period (c. 10,500–300 B.C.)
c. 1000–200 B.C.
Low-fired clay
7 15/16 x 5 1/8 x 2 3/8 in. (20.1 x 13 x 6 cm)
AP 1971.15
Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling twisted rope across the surface of moist clay. The purpose of Jomon figurines is not known, but they may have been used as protective charms or fertility symbols.
Ovoid Jar
Ovoid Jar

Ovoid Jar

Japan
Yayoi period (300 B.C.–A.D. 300)
c. A.D. 100
Low-fired clay
H. 18 7/16 in. (46.8 cm); Diam. 12 5/16 in. (31.3 cm)
AP 1984.15
This jar, characterized by its graceful lines and uncluttered form, is a fine example of the pottery of the Yayoi period, which marks the first settled population in Japan. The combed incisions and flat braided cord are typical Yayoi decorations.
Wide-Mouthed Jar
Wide-Mouthed Jar

Wide-Mouthed Jar

Japan
Yayoi period (300 B.C.–A.D. 300)
c. A.D. 100
Low-fired clay
11 13/16 x 5 7/8 in. (30 x 15 cm)
AP 1985.07
In comparison to the exuberance of the preceding Jomon period pottery, Yayoi wares exhibit simplified silhouettes with spare decoration, reflecting a more settled society. The incised patterns that decorate this graceful storage jar are divided into three registers, accentuating the vessel’s shape.
Haniwa Seated Man
Haniwa Seated Man

Haniwa Seated Man

Japan, Ibaraki prefecture, Kashima, Hokota site
Kofun period (248–646)
c. A.D. 500
Low-fired clay with cinnabar pigment
29 15/16 x 10 5/8 in. (76 x 27 cm)
AP 1972.02
Haniwa, which means “circle (or tube) of clay,” is the term given to large numbers of hollow clay cylinders that were placed in and around the bases of large earthen mounds covering Japanese royal tombs.
Flask
Flask

Flask

Japan
Asuka period (552–645)
7th century A.D.
High-fired clay (Sue ware)
12 3/8 x 10 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (31.4 x 26.3 x 18.4 cm)
AP 1983.01
This flask exemplifies a type of ceramic vessel produced in the sixth and seventh centuries in Japan for ritual use or for placement in tombs as offerings.
Gigaku Mask of the Karura Type
Gigaku Mask of the Karura Type

Gigaku Mask of the Karura Type

Japan
Nara period (A.D. 710–794)
8th century
Dry lacquer (dakkatsu kanshitsu)
14 x 10 1/8 x 12 in. (35.6 x 25.7 x 30.5 cm)
AP 2005.02
This very striking and expressive Japanese gigaku mask depicts Karura, one of the fourteen characters in the gigaku, a religious dance-drama that was performed for the Japanese royal court at Buddhist temple ceremonies from the 7th to the 10th century.
Hachiman in the Guise of a Buddhist Priest
Hachiman in the Guise of a Buddhist Priest

Hachiman in the Guise of a Buddhist Priest

Japan
Heian period (794–1185)
11th century
Polychromed wood
19 1/4 x 16 1/8 x 12 5/8 in. (48.9 x 41 x 32 cm)
AP 1981.19
The Shinto god Hachiman has enjoyed special prominence throughout Japanese history. He was originally a local military guardian, protecting an agricultural and mining community in Usa.
Standing Shaka Buddha
Standing Shaka Buddha

Standing Shaka Buddha

Kaikei
Japanese (active c. 1185–1225)
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1210
Gilt and lacquered wood
54 7/16 x 19 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. (138.2 x 48.9 x 34.3 cm)
AP 1984.01 a,b,c
Kaikei, the great master sculptor of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), established the primary school of sculpture that produced statuary for the major temples in Nara and Kyoto.
Seated Nyoirin Kannon
Seated Nyoirin Kannon

Seated Nyoirin Kannon

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1230–50
Wood with traces of gilt and pigment
19 x 18 x 10 in. (48.3 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)
AP 1985.15
Kannon is the Japanese name for the Indian Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Because of the boundless love he offered to all beings, this was the most popular of all the Buddhist deities throughout Asia.
En no Gyoja
En no Gyoja

En no Gyoja

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1300–1375
Polychromed wood
54 15/16 x 32 x 26 in. (139.6 x 81.3 x 66 cm)
AP 1984.13
En no Gyoja was the legendary founder of the Shugendo sect, which emphasized the practice of religious austerities, and he thus came to represent the archetypical ascetic recluse. He is said to have died in the early eighth century after living a hermetic life in the mountains.
Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven
Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven

Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven

Japan
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
c. 1300
Pair of hanging scrolls; gold and mineral pigments on silk
39 x 15 3/4 in. each (99 x 40 cm each)
AP 1986.11 a,b
In this pair of paintings, twenty-five small music-making divinities, bejeweled and richly dressed in gold, float down from the heavens on diaphanous clouds. The divinities are bodhisattva attendants to Amida Buddha, who inspired in his followers the hope of eternal life in his Western Paradise.
Vimalakirti Scroll Used for a Yuima-e Service at Tônomine Temple
Vimalakirti Scroll Used for a Yuima-e Service at Tônomine Temple

Vimalakirti Scroll Used for a Yuima-e Service at Tônomine Temple

Japan
Nambokucho period (1336–1392)
c. 1350
Hanging scroll; color and gold on silk
35 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (89.5 x 24.1 cm)
AP 1982.02
Vimalakirti Scroll Used for a Yuima-e Service at T"nomine Temple has been retitled to reflect new information that came to light in the course of recent restoration and cleaning carried out in Japan.
Portrait of Daruma
Portrait of Daruma

Portrait of Daruma

Attributed to Soga Dasoku (calligraphy attr. to Ikkyu Sojun)
Japanese (Dasoku active c. 1452–1483; Sojun, 1394–1481)
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
15th century
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
36 9/16 x 13 9/16 in. (92.8 x 34.5 cm)
AP 1970.07
Daruma, known also by the Sanskrit name Bodhidharma, is the legendary first patriarch of Zen Buddhism. He is said to have been a south Indian prince who introduced the meditative sect of Buddhism to China in the sixth century.
Evening Landscape
Evening Landscape

Evening Landscape

Japan
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
c. 1540
Hanging scroll; ink and light color on paper
11 7/16 x 18 3/16 in. (29 x 46.2 cm)
AP 1969.15
The dramatic mountain which dominates this painting rises out of the mist, placing the foreground path and distant peaks in perspective.
Shallow Bowl
Shallow Bowl

Shallow Bowl

Japan
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
late 16th century
Stoneware with red and gray glaze (Shino ware)
H. 2 in. (5.1 cm); Diam.6 5/16 in. (16 cm)
APx 1976.09
Shino, a collective term for pottery wares covered with a thick white feldspar glaze, was one of the most radiant developments in Japanese ceramics.

Pages