Buddha (Yakushi Nyorai) Holding A Medicine Flask

Japanese


Buddha (Yakushi Nyorai) Holding a Medicine Flask, ca. 1610, Late Momoyama-Early Edo Period (1574–1867)

  • On View

Wood, gilt, polychrome, glass

Dimensions: 55 1/2 × 26 in. (141 × 66 cm)

Gift of Dr. Ing. Herbert W. Ziebolz in memory of his wife Hilda Ziebolz, 1969.65

The Healing Buddha, Yakushi Nyorai, was especially popular during the early Heian period in Japan, and continued to be depicted through the Edo Period. Many images were executed for worship halls as well as private residences and are identifiable by the extended proper left hand resting on or against the left leg, palm open and facing upward to accept the defining emblem of the deity: a small, lidded medicine jar. This left-hand gesture, considered in concert with the raised right hand, palm facing outward toward the viewer, helps identify the deity who is believed to be able to cure earthly suffering and sickness.

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