Important Cultural Property

The Nine Luminaries


Period Heian period, 12th century
Materials and techniques Handscroll, ink on paper
Size 29.0×333.0


Various types of worship for stars started as the result of the idea that combined the star fatalism with esoteric Buddhism. One such belief is worshipping the Luminary Buddha who rules the movements of the Nine Luminaries and stars in the sky. This figure is probably based on an original model from the Tang dynasty in China. It is a superbly expressive piece with only red pigment added for the lips. It contains the date March 11th 1164. Formerly owned by Tōji temple, Kyoto.

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