Standing Doji (Kumara)

  • Muromachi period
  • 15c
  • Assembled wood with polychrome
  • H-76.8
Catalogue Entry

Muromachi period, 15th century
Assembled wood with polychrome
Figure height, 76.8cm

This figure has traditionally been considered an example of Shozen doji, one of the two doji attendants, Shozen and Shoaku, in Jizo's (Ksitigarbha) retinue. There is shoulder drapery and an object held in the right hand (now lost) while the now lost left hand is thought to have been held about chest height. Given these attri-butes, the figure also shows the characteristics of Seitaka doji, one of Fudo Myoo's (Acalanatha) attendants. However, Fudo Myoo's attendant is intended to be shown as a child, and as this figure clearly has the face of an older man, and as the iconography of Jizo's retinue remains unclarified, it is likely that this image should be considered to be Shozen doji.
Made of hinoki (Japanese cypress) in the yosegi zukuri technique, two pieces of wood are joined right to left in the middle of the body, but there is no split-and-join technique (warikubi, or split-neck technique) used at the base of the neck. The interior has been hollowed and crystal eyeballs inset in the eyes. The figure was finished in polychrome, but the majority of this polychrome has flaked away.

The movement-filled posture and realistic expression are indicative of the realism of the Kamakura period, but the relatively simplified form of the pose and the stiffened expression suggest a slightly later date from the Muromachi period. SI