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3 Items in this Learning Collection

Copyright
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Shômen Kongô

Accession Number
1991/1.71

Title
Shômen Kongô

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1950

Medium & Support
rubbing: ink on paper

Dimensions
57 5/16 x 17 1/2 in. ( 145.5 x 44.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Caroline J. Plumer

Label copy
Rubbings are a common method for recording historic images and calligraphy carved in stone. The technique was commonly used in China, where scholars would transfer
calligraphy from stones onto paper using ink. To do this, paper would be dampened and laid onto the stone surface. A small brush or cotton cloth was then used to press the paper into the depressions in the stone. When ink was brushed or pounded onto the paper, the areas pressed into the stone would be left untouched, making them white against a black background.
This image is a rubbing of the deity Shômen Kongô. He is depicted with four arms, two of which hold a sword and a wheel. He is often accompanied by two servant boys, as he is here, and roosters, who were considered protectors against demons. Behind him are the sun and the moon. Some Buddhist texts say Shômen Kongô was originally a demon who caused illness and tortured humans, but that he dedicated himself to protecting them against disease after a defeat.
The writing on either side of the image indicates the date. The right side of the image reads “the 8th year of the Genroku era,” or 1695.
Spring/Summer Gallery Rotation 2015

Subject matter
This image is a rubbing of the deity Shômen Kongô. He is depicted with four arms, two of which hold a sword and a wheel. He is often accompanied by two servant boys, as he is here, and roosters, who were considered protectors against demons. Behind him are the sun and the moon. Some Buddhist texts say Shômen Kongô was originally a demon who caused illness and tortured humans, but that he dedicated himself to protecting them against disease after a defeat. The writing on either side of the image indicates the date. The right side of the image reads “the 8th year of the Genroku era,” or 1695.

Physical Description
A scowling figure standing atop a pedestal. He has four arms, two of which are clasped together, and the other two of which are holding an orb and a stick. On the pedestal are two small human figures and two birds. Above the figure are two circles. On the right and left side of the image are lines of writing.

Primary Object Classification
Rubbing

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

3 Related Resources

Celestial bodies
(Part of: Natural World)
Supernatural in Japanese Art
(Part of: History 195:004 Dragons and Snow Monkeys)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved