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Divine Rainmaking Boy: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
In Japan, anthropomorphic representations of indigenous Shinto_ gods were unknown before the adoption of Buddhism in the sixth century. Such gods were worshiped at sites associated with their presence: certain mountains, waterfalls, and unusually large rocks. Following the advent of Buddhism with its complex pantheon, Shinto_ists also began to make images. While sculptors fashioned Buddhist images in accordance with Indian and Chinese prototypes, they created Shinto_ images to resemble Japanese aristocrats.

This sculpture is a rare representation of the Shinto_ god Uho_-do_ji, or the "divine rainmaking boy." Uho_-do_ji is also a youthful manifestation of the Shinto_ sun goddess Amterasu-o_mikami. Demonstrating the fusion of Shinto_ and Buddhist beliefs in Japan, he holds a magic orb in his left hand, leans on a jeweled staff, and balances a "treasure tower of wisdom" on his head--all ritual implements associated with Buddhist worship.

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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009