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Between and Mortarboard

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22 Items in this Learning Collection

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Bodhisattva Mañjusri (J. Monju Bosatsu), seated on a lion

Accession Number

Bodhisattva Mañjusri (J. Monju Bosatsu), seated on a lion


Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
15th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink, color and gold on silk

19 3/4 in x 14 in (50.2 cm x 35.6 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Subject matter
This icon painting depicts Monju (Mañjuśrī) the bodhsattva of wisdom seated on his lion mount. Generally, Monju is closely associated with Fugen (Samantabhadra) and the two were often paired with depictions of Shaka (Shakyamuni), the historical Buddha. Monju was frequently depicted in Japan, and distinctions were made between his various forms based on the number of topknots of his hair. This image shows the Gokei Monju, or "five-knot Monju". Frequently, depictions of Monju riding his lion are identified as "Monju Crossing the Sea" (Japanese: Tokai Monju zō) where Monju's lion strides across the waters while traveling to Wutaishan, a Chinese mountain where it was believed that he dwelled in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist belief. 

Physical Description
This icon painting depicts the bodhisattva Monju seated cross-legged on lotus on top of a lion. The figure holds a vajra sword, and is dressed in flowing robes with golden jewelry. Two circular mandorlas surround the figure. 

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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lotus (motif)

4 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

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