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Sydney L. Moss Ltd

A Japanese wood temple sculpture of Oni no Nembutsu
probably early Edo period (early-mid 17th century)
181 cm.; 71 1/4 in. high.

The converted demon in the guise of an itinerant pilgrim, reciting mantra and collecting donations for the upkeep of a temple, has long been endowed by the Japanese populace with talismanic powers, especially in stopping children from crying.

It is a frequent subject of Otsu-e prints and paintings; indeed it may be that the date of the sculpture coincides with the first appearance of such images. In the back of this monumental votive sculpture is a hollow for a dedicatory text, just as one would find in the back of a Buddhist temple sculpture.

all text & images © Sydney L. Moss Ltd

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