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Carved wood Gigaku mask of Garuda


Title Carved wood Gigaku mask of Garuda
Quantity 1 piece (Some of the works of theCarved wood Gigaku masks)
Date 2018
Size h71 × w225 mm
Production Matsuhisa Sohrin Buddhist Studio

Original Work

Designation Important Cultural Property
Artist/Excavation Site
Collection Tokyo Naitonal Museum
Date Asuka period/7th century
Collection Ref. No. N-215


 The name Karura refers to the sacred bird Garuda that eats poisonous snakes and appears in ancient myths in India and Southeast Asia. For people in the southern regions, who were always exposed to the risks of poisonous snakes, etc., Garuda was a benefactor for their lives and thus it may be natural that it was deified. Garuda was adopted in Buddhism as one of the Buddhist Eight Deva Guardians. Its upward-swinging curved beak and keen eyes well represent the nature of these fearless birds that fly in southern harsh climates and defeat poisonous snakes. The mask is predominantly painted in Montpellier green and red, with ultramarine applied to the area around its eyes and gold leaf applied to its eyeballs.