Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities -- Exploring Their Origins & Roles in Japanese Death Rites & Funerary Art
Thirteen Buddhist Deities of JapanDownload PDF version of slideshow
ABSTRACT = EXPLORING THEIR ORIGINS & ROLES IN JAPANESE DEATH RITES & FUNERARY ART
The Thirteen Buddhist Deities (Jūsanbutsu 十三仏) are a purely Japanese convention. The standardized group of thirteen emerged in the mid-14th century, but in its formative years (12th & 13th centuries), the group's composition varied significantly and included only ten, eleven, or twelve members. The group is important to all schools of Japanese Buddhism. Even today, the thirteen are invoked at thirteen postmortem rites held by the living for the dead, and at thirteen premortem rites held by the living for the living. As shown herein, the thirteen are associated with the Seven Seventh-Day Rites 七七斎, the Six Realms of Karmic Rebirth 六道, the Buddhas of the Ten Days of Fasting 十斎日仏, the Ten Kings of Hell 十王, the Secret Buddhas of the Thirty Days of the Month 三十日秘仏, and other groupings. The Thirteen provide early examples of Japan's medieval honji-suijaku 本地垂迹 paradigm, wherein local deities (suijaku) are recognized as avatars of the Buddhist deities (honji). This classroom guide is unique in three ways: (1) it presents over 70 annotated images, arranged chronologically and thematically, from the 12th to 20th century; (2) it offers four methods to easily identify the individual deities; and (3) it provides visual evidence that the thirteen are configured to mimic the layout of the central court of the Womb World Mandala 中台八葉院. KEYWORDS. 十三仏 or 十三佛・十王・七七斎・七七日・中有・中陰・六齋日・六道 ・十斎日仏・三十日秘仏・本地垂迹 ・兵範記・中有記・ 預修十王生七経 ・地蔵十王経 ・佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經・弘法大師逆修日記事 ・下学集. An Adobe PDF version (printable, searchable) is also available for download.
Slide 1. Table of Contents. Condensed Visual Guide to Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities (Jūsanbutsu 十三仏). Cover photo shows modern piece for the family altar (butsudan 仏壇), used during Obon お盆 and other special times when praying for one's ancestors or living relatives or oneself (see Slide 59.) █ ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Mark Schumacher is an independent researcher who moved to Kamakura (Japan) in 1993 and still lives there today. His site, The A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Statuary, has been online since 1995. It is widely referenced by universities, museums, art historians, Buddhist practitioners, & lay people from around the world. The site's focus is medieval Japanese religious art, primarily Buddhist, but it also catalogs art from Shintō, Shugendō, Taoist, & other traditions. The site is constantly updated. As of August 2018, it contained 400+ deities & 4,000+ annotated photos of statuary from Kamakura, Nara, Kyoto, & elsewhere in Japan. I am not associated with any educational institution, private corporation, governmental agency, or religious group. I am a single individual, working at my own pace, limited by my own inadequacies. No one is looking over my shoulder, so I must accept full responsibility for any inaccuracies. I welcome feedback, good or bad. If you discover errors, please contact me. I rely on Chinese, Japanese & English sources. I cannot read Korean, Tibetan, Sanskrit, or Central Asian languages, so I must consult secondary sources of scholarship to underpin my findings. █ RESOURCES. To learn about the individual deities, please see the A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Art, or JAANUS (Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System, or Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (login = guest). █ KEYWORDS. 十三仏 or 十三佛・十王・七七斎・七七日・中有・中陰・六齋日・六道 ・十斎日仏・三十日秘仏・本地垂迹 ・兵範記・中有記・ 預修十王生七経 ・地蔵十王経 ・佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經・弘法大師逆修日記事 ・下学集.   .
PDF VersionSlide 1. Table of Contents. Condensed Visual Guide to Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities (Jūsanbutsu 十三仏). Cover photo shows modern piece for the family altar (butsudan 仏壇), used during Obon お盆 and other special times when praying for one's ancestors or living relatives or oneself (see Slide 59.) ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Mark Schumacher is an independent researcher who moved to Kamakura (Japan) in 1993 and still lives there today. His site, The A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Statuary, has been online since 1995. It is widely referenced by universities, museums, art historians, Buddhist practitioners, & lay people from around the world. The site's focus is medieval Japanese religious art, primarily Buddhist, but it also catalogs art from Shintō, Shugendō, Taoist, & other traditions. The site is constantly updated. As of August 2018, it contained 400+ deities & 4,000+ annotated photos of statuary from Kamakura, Nara, Kyoto, & elsewhere in Japan. I am not associated with any educational institution, private corporation, governmental agency, or religious group. I am a single individual, working at my own pace, limited by my own inadequacies. No one is looking over my shoulder, so I must accept full responsibility for any inaccuracies. I welcome feedback, good or bad. If you discover errors, please contact me. I rely on Chinese, Japanese & English sources. I cannot read Korean, Tibetan, Sanskrit, or Central Asian languages, so I must consult secondary sources of scholarship to underpin my findings.RESOURCES. To learn about the individual deities, please see the A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Art, or JAANUS (Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System, or Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (login = guest). KEYWORDS. 十三仏 or 十三佛・十王・七七斎・七七日・中有・中陰・六齋日・六道 ・十斎日仏・三十日秘仏・本地垂迹 ・兵範記・中有記・ 預修十王生七経 ・地蔵十王経 ・佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經・弘法大師逆修日記事 ・下学集. 
 
 

 
 
 Slide 2. In a Nutshell. Any study of Japan’s Thirteen Buddhist Deities begins with a dilemma – there is scant textual evidence about the thirteen until the 15th century, making their study largely speculative. This guide therefore focuses on the “visual record,” presenting the oldest known artwork of the group during its formative period in the 12th & 13th & 14th centuries. Any study of the thirteen also requires an upfront caveat, for the term 十三仏, or 十三佛, is often mistakenly translated as “Thirteen Buddha” – the group includes five Buddha 仏, seven Bodhisattva 菩薩, and one Myō-ō 明王. Japan’s thirteen are a purely Japanese convention. They are not mentioned in the Taishō Buddhist Canon. Although the term 十三佛 (Thirteen Buddha) appears in 23 different texts of the canon, its usages show no known correlation with Japan’s thirteen. The latter preside over thirteen postmortem memorial rites that start on the 7th day after death and continue until the 33rd year after death (see Slide 3). The standard grouping appeared around the mid-14th C. after undergoing nearly two centuries of transition from 10 to 11 to 12 to 13 members. The group was popularized in the 15th C. and linked to both postmortem rites for the dead & premortem rites for the living. Despite the speculative nature of this topic, the group’s raison d’être can be convincingly shown via extant art. Here is a case where art seems to predate texts. Above seeds adapted from Shingon.org.  Based on karmic rebirth (reincarnation) & death management. Both sprang from early Indian Buddhism, wherein the dead wander in a liminal realm for 7 weeks, or 49 days 七七日 (login = guest), undergoing judgement at the end of each 7-day period. On the 50th day, the dead are reborn in one of 6 Realms of Karmic Rebirth. Living descendants hold memorial services at 7-day intervals during these 49 days in the hopes the deceased will not be reborn in an evil realm. HENCE: 7 Weeks + 6 Realms = 13. Folklore scholar Yanagita Kunio 柳田國男 (1875-1962), in his work Ishigami Mondō 石神問答, tried to link the thirteen to Japan’s Jūsanzuka 十三塚 (thirteen memorial mounds). Elsewhere, the number of thirteen-storied pagodas peaked in the Kamakura era, in tandem (it seems) with the development of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. Based on the Ten Directions 十方 (four cardinal points, four intermediate directions, zenith & nadir), plus the Buddhas of the Three Ages 三世佛 (past, present & future), who are Amida (past), Shaka (present), Miroku (future). Total = 13. Based on the Jūsandai-in 十三大院 (thirteen great courts) of the Taizōkai Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅 (Womb World Mandala).Based on the layout of the Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中臺八葉院 (central court of the Womb World Mandala), with Dainichi Buddha in the center, surrounded by four other Buddhas, four Bodhisattvas, & four directional guardians. Total = 13. See chart at right. Based on astrotheology. Writes Steven Hutchins (p.96): “The emphasis on the number seven can only derive from the Seven Planets of the Ancients (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) from which we get our days of the week. Thirteen designates the thirteen moon cycles in a year. The Thirteen Buddha Rites stem from an ancient form of astrotheology – a theology founded on the observation of the heavenly bodies. Thus, the deceased’s journey from death to reincarnation in the Thirteen Buddhist Rites embodies the grander motions & cycles of sidereal time.” Note: Many civilizations were aware of the need to add an intercalary month – a thirteenth month – to make the year align with the seasons.

Slide 2. In a Nutshell. Any study of Japan’s Thirteen Buddhist Deities begins with a dilemma – there is scant textual evidence about the thirteen until the 15th century, making their study largely speculative. This guide therefore focuses on the “visual record,” presenting the oldest known artwork of the group during its formative period in the 12th & 13th & 14th centuries. Any study of the thirteen also requires an upfront caveat, for the term 十三仏, or 十三佛, is often mistakenly translated as “Thirteen Buddha” – the group includes five Buddha 仏, seven Bodhisattva 菩薩, and one Myō-ō 明王. Japan’s thirteen are a purely Japanese convention. They are not mentioned in the Taishō Buddhist Canon. Although the term 十三佛 (Thirteen Buddha) appears in 23 different texts of the canon, its usages show no known correlation with Japan’s thirteen. The latter preside over thirteen postmortem memorial rites that start on the 7th day after death and continue until the 33rd year after death (see Slide 3). The standard grouping appeared around the mid-14th C. after undergoing nearly two centuries of transition from 10 to 11 to 12 to 13 members. The group was popularized in the 15th C. and linked to both postmortem rites for the dead & premortem rites for the living. Despite the speculative nature of this topic, the group’s raison d’être can be convincingly shown via extant art. Here is a case where art seems to predate texts. Above seeds adapted from Shingon.org.

Origin Theories
  1. Based on karmic rebirth (reincarnation) & death management. Both sprang from early Indian Buddhism, wherein the dead wander in a liminal realm for 7 weeks, or 49 days 七七日 (login = guest), undergoing judgement at the end of each 7-day period. On the 50th day, the dead are reborn in one of 6 Realms of Karmic Rebirth. Living descendants hold memorial services at 7-day intervals during these 49 days in the hopes the deceased will not be reborn in an evil realm. HENCE: 7 Weeks + 6 Realms = 13.
  2. Folklore scholar Yanagita Kunio 柳田國男 (1875-1962), in his work Ishigami Mondō 石神問答, tried to link the thirteen to Japan’s Jūsanzuka 十三塚 (thirteen memorial mounds). Elsewhere, the number of thirteen-storied pagodas peaked in the Kamakura era, in tandem (it seems) with the development of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities.
  3. Based on the Ten Directions 十方 (four cardinal points, four intermediate directions, zenith & nadir), plus the Buddhas of the Three Ages 三世佛 (past, present & future), who are Amida (past), Shaka (present), Miroku (future). Total = 13.
  4. Based on the Jūsandai-in 十三大院 (thirteen great courts) of the Taizōkai Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅 (Womb World Mandala).
  5. Based on the layout of the Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中臺八葉院 (central court of the Womb World Mandala), with Dainichi Buddha in the center, surrounded by four other Buddhas, four Bodhisattvas, & four directional guardians. Total = 13. See chart at right.
  6. Based on astrotheology. Writes Steven Hutchins (p.96): “The emphasis on the number seven can only derive from the Seven Planets of the Ancients (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) from which we get our days of the week. Thirteen designates the thirteen moon cycles in a year. The Thirteen Buddha Rites stem from an ancient form of astrotheology – a theology founded on the observation of the heavenly bodies. Thus, the deceased’s journey from death to reincarnation in the Thirteen Buddhist Rites embodies the grander motions & cycles of sidereal time.” Note: Many civilizations were aware of the need to add an intercalary month – a thirteenth month – to make the year align with the seasons.
Slide 3. Conclusions Up Front.                                                                                Four don't conform to modern dates  ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑            Download chart in Excel or in Adobe PDF
1


 Japan's 13 Buddhist Deities are a clever way to appeal to the largest possible congregation. The group's deities include:


SPECULATION




a


 Traditional triad featuring Shaka (Historical Buddha), a Pure Land Triad featuring Amida, and an Esoteric Triad featuring Dainichi.


The 13th-14th centuries ushered in Buddhism for the commoner (Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren). The older esoteric Tendai school, meanwhile, was nearing the peak of its power. Tendai's arch rival, the Shingon school, was hence under pressure to retain its followers, and so it concocted the group of 13 Buddhist Deities, largely to counteract the growing popularity of the Pure Land, Zen & Nichiren schools & the rising power of Tendai. Amida (Pure Land) faith was [perhaps] the driving force in the adoption of China's 10 Kings of Hell & their linkage with 10 Buddhist deities. The 10 rites for the dead, based on China's 10 Kings, became a standard part of funerary rites in Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, Zen & Nichiren traditions. Shingon later added three more deities & kings & rites (extending until the 33rd year after death) to remain relevant. The number 33 is associated with Kannon, a member of the 13. The number 33 involves the forms Kannon takes to save believers, as described in the Lotus Sutra (login = guest) -- the most popular scripture in all Asia. Today there are many 33-site pilgrimages in Japan to Kannon. For more on Kannon's 33 forms, click here. As for Ancestor Worship in Japan, 33 years marks the point when, says Hutchins pp. 64-65: "the deceased’s spirit passes from ‘distant’ to ‘remote’ & they become a full-fledged ancestor of the household." After 33 years, the dead are considered ancestral spirits. Buddhist rites are stopped. Today, death rites vary widely in Japan, but the 33rd year is still crucial.




b


 A fourth triad is embedded as well -- the Buddhas of Three Ages 三世佛 -- featuring Amida (Past), Shaka (Present), Miroku (Future).




c


 The three remaining deities (Fudō, Jizō, Yakushi) are among Japan's most beloved divinities.




d


 Jizō & Miroku are paired (Jizō represents the Future Buddha Miroku); Jizō is also a popular member of the Pure Land school.




e


 Jizō & Kokūzō are paired (Jizō as earth / matter  and Kokūzō as space / void). This is unequivocally linked to China's five elements.




f


 The Jizō and Kokūzō pairing is also unequivocally linked to Japan's five-tier memorial graveyard stones and wooden graveyard tablets.




g


 Fudō and Dainichi are paired. Fudō is a manifestation of Dainichi. The two share the same holy day. 




h


 Yakushi and Ashuku are paired (perhaps); both are lords of the Eastern Paradise




2


 The 13 Buddhist Deities were created by the Shingon school. There is no conclusive textual evidence, but all fingers point to Shingon.




a


 The Dual World Mandala (composed of the Diamond World and Womb World mandalas) is especially important to the esoteric Shingon school.




b


 The Womb World Mandala has "13 great courts" 十三大院. Mapping the 13 Deities into the central Womb Court yields a coherent group. See Slide 2.




c


 Among the 13 Deities, the first (Fudō) & last three (Ashuku, Dainichi, Kokūzō) are revered primarily by Shingon & play key roles in mandala cosmology.




d


 The moon is another big indicator. The "moon meditation" (GACHIRINKAN 月輪觀) is perhaps the most critical meditation practice in esoteric Buddhism.




e


 In the esoteric Diamond World Mandala 金剛界曼荼羅, the divinities are often shown seated in the circle of a full moon.




f


 As argued herein, the 13 Buddhist Deities are also likely derived from the 13 cycles of the moon (the intercalary 13th month).




g


 Other indicators (non-Shingon) are the 13 articles kept by monks, the 13 contemplations, the 13 life stages (birth / adulthood), etc.




3


 Sources for the Topmost Chart







(1) Scripture on Jizō and the 10 Kings  (Bussetsu Jizō Bosatsu Hosshin Innen Jūō Kyō 佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經), late 12th century, the earliest text that pairs the 10 Kings with Ten Buddhist deities; considered an apocryphal Japanese text; (2) Kōbō Daishi Gyakushu Nikkinokoto 弘法大師逆修日記事, early 15th century; Japanese text listing the 13 Buddhist deities, postmortem dates, & premortem dates; (3) Kagakushū 下学集 of 1444, a Japanese dictionary listing the 13 postmortem & premortem dates; (4) Jūsanbutsu Honji-Suijaku Kenbetsu Shaku  十三仏本地垂迹簡別釈 of early Edo (??); author & date unknown. (5) Hutchins has correlated the deity lists in most of these works in his Thirteen Buddhas: Tracing the Roots of the 13 Buddha Rites.







Related Groupings. (6) Ten Days of Fasting in 10th-C. (??) text Ten Purifying Days of Jizō Bodhisattva; (7) Secret Buddhist Deities of the 30 Days of the Month, a 10th-C. grouping from China that began appearing in 14th-C. Japanese texts; (8) Japan's Eight Buddhist Protectors of the Zodiac; popularized in the Edo era (1603 - 1867). They appear in the 1783 Butsuzō-zu-i (p. 70 online) 仏像図彙; (9) Sūtras & Texts on Jizō.
Slide 3. Conclusions Up Front.                                                                                Four don't conform to modern dates  ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑            Download chart in Excel or in Adobe PDF

1

 Japan's 13 Buddhist Deities are a clever way to appeal to the largest possible congregation. The group's deities include:

SPECULATION

a

 Traditional triad featuring Shaka (Historical Buddha), a Pure Land Triad featuring Amida, and an Esoteric Triad featuring Dainichi.

The 13th-14th centuries ushered in Buddhism for the commoner (Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren). The older esoteric Tendai school, meanwhile, was nearing the peak of its power. Tendai's arch rival, the Shingon school, was hence under pressure to retain its followers, and so it concocted the group of 13 Buddhist Deities, largely to counteract the growing popularity of the Pure Land, Zen & Nichiren schools & the rising power of Tendai. Amida (Pure Land) faith was [perhaps] the driving force in the adoption of China's 10 Kings of Hell & their linkage with 10 Buddhist deities. The 10 rites for the dead, based on China's 10 Kings, became a standard part of funerary rites in Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, Zen & Nichiren traditions. Shingon later added three more deities & kings & rites (extending until the 33rd year after death) to remain relevant. The number 33 is associated with Kannon, a member of the 13. The number 33 involves the forms Kannon takes to save believers, as described in the Lotus Sutra (login = guest) -- the most popular scripture in all Asia. Today there are many 33-site pilgrimages in Japan to Kannon. For more on Kannon's 33 forms, click here. As for Ancestor Worship in Japan, 33 years marks the point when, says Hutchins pp. 64-65: "the deceased’s spirit passes from ‘distant’ to ‘remote’ & they become a full-fledged ancestor of the household." After 33 years, the dead are considered ancestral spirits. Buddhist rites are stopped. Today, death rites vary widely in Japan, but the 33rd year is still crucial.

b

 A fourth triad is embedded as well -- the Buddhas of Three Ages 三世佛 -- featuring Amida (Past), Shaka (Present), Miroku (Future).

c

 The three remaining deities (Fudō, Jizō, Yakushi) are among Japan's most beloved divinities.

d

 Jizō & Miroku are paired (Jizō represents the Future Buddha Miroku); Jizō is also a popular member of the Pure Land school.

e

 Jizō & Kokūzō are paired (Jizō as earth / matter  and Kokūzō as space / void). This is unequivocally linked to China's five elements.

f

 The Jizō and Kokūzō pairing is also unequivocally linked to Japan's five-tier memorial graveyard stones and wooden graveyard tablets.

g

 Fudō and Dainichi are paired. Fudō is a manifestation of Dainichi. The two share the same holy day.

h

 Yakushi and Ashuku are paired (perhaps); both are lords of the Eastern Paradise

2

 The 13 Buddhist Deities were created by the Shingon school. There is no conclusive textual evidence, but all fingers point to Shingon.

a

 The Dual World Mandala (composed of the Diamond World and Womb World mandalas) is especially important to the esoteric Shingon school.

b

 The Womb World Mandala has "13 great courts" 十三大院. Mapping the 13 Deities into the central Womb Court yields a coherent group. See Slide 2.

c

 Among the 13 Deities, the first (Fudō) & last three (Ashuku, Dainichi, Kokūzō) are revered primarily by Shingon & play key roles in mandala cosmology.

d

 The moon is another big indicator. The "moon meditation" (GACHIRINKAN 月輪觀) is perhaps the most critical meditation practice in esoteric Buddhism.

e

 In the esoteric Diamond World Mandala 金剛界曼荼羅, the divinities are often shown seated in the circle of a full moon.

f

 As argued herein, the 13 Buddhist Deities are also likely derived from the 13 cycles of the moon (the intercalary 13th month).

g

 Other indicators (non-Shingon) are the 13 articles kept by monks, the 13 contemplations, the 13 life stages (birth / adulthood), etc.

3

 Sources for the Topmost Chart

(1) Scripture on Jizō and the 10 Kings (Bussetsu Jizō Bosatsu Hosshin Innen Jūō Kyō 佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經), late 12th century, the earliest text that pairs the 10 Kings with Ten Buddhist deities; considered an apocryphal Japanese text; (2) Kōbō Daishi Gyakushu Nikkinokoto 弘法大師逆修日記事, early 15th century; Japanese text listing the 13 Buddhist deities, postmortem dates, & premortem dates; (3) Kagakushū 下学集 of 1444, a Japanese dictionary listing the 13 postmortem & premortem dates; (4) Jūsanbutsu Honji-Suijaku Kenbetsu Shaku 十三仏本地垂迹簡別釈 of early Edo (??); author & date unknown. (5) Hutchins has correlated the deity lists in most of these works in his Thirteen Buddhas: Tracing the Roots of the 13 Buddha Rites.

Related Groupings. (6) Ten Days of Fasting in 10th-C. (??) text Ten Purifying Days of Jizō Bodhisattva; (7) Secret Buddhist Deities of the 30 Days of the Month, a 10th-C. grouping from China that began appearing in 14th-C. Japanese texts; (8) Japan's Eight Buddhist Protectors of the Zodiac; popularized in the Edo era (1603 - 1867). They appear in the 1783 Butsuzō-zu-i (p. 70 online) 仏像図彙; (9) Sūtras & Texts on Jizō.

Slide 4. Seven Seventh-Day Rites & Ten Kings of the Underworld. The Shichi-shichi-nichi chūin 七七日中陰 (seven X seven = 49 days between death & rebirth; login = guest) can be traced back to India. The term appears in the 4th-C. AD Yogacāra bhūmi-śāstra 瑜伽師地論 (login = guest); T.1579.30.282b1. The concept played a pivotal role in the 8th-C. Tibetan Book of the Dead. The seven-sevens also appear in Sanskrit & Pali texts dated to the 3rd/4th C. AD, including the Mahāvastu, Nidanakatha, Lalitavistara, & Mahabodhi Vamsa (date?). The latter work says the Historical Buddha fasted for 7 weeks (49 days) after his enlightenment. JAPANESE PRECEDENTS. ▀ 687 AD, 100th day memorial, Nihon Shoki 日本書紀; held at five temples for Emperor Tenmu 天武天皇. ▀ 735 AD, seven seventh-day rites 七七斎
mentioned by Emperor Shōmu 太上天皇 in the imperially commissioned historical record Shoku Nihongi 続日本紀 ▀ 757 AD, 1st year memorial 周忌, Shoku Nihongi; held for Emperor Shōmu 太上天皇 at Tōdaiji. ▀ 11th C. Shōryōshū 性霊集 (scroll 7), 3rd year rites for Kūkai; text also mentions 7th week & 1st year rites. By the end of the Heian era (794-1185 AD), there is textual evidence of memorial services connecting the 49 days with specific Buddhist deities, e.g., diary of Taira no Nobunori 平信範 (1112 - 1187) entitled Hyōhanki 兵範記.China's Ten Kings (Jūō 十王) appear in the Scripture on the Ten Kings 佛說預修十王生七經, compiled sometime in the 9th or early 10th C. AD. The dead undergo trials by the ten, with the first seven kings covering the crucial seven-week (49 day) period, followed by three more trials on the 100th day, the 1st year, & the 3rd year after death. The 100th day, 1st year, & 3rd year rites are found in the Chinese Book of Rites, said to be the work of Confucius (551–479 BC). The ancient term for the 100th day rite was 卒哭 (scroll 21). The ancient terms for 1st year and 3rd year rites were 小祥 & 大祥 (scroll 37).  Writes Hutchins (p.52 & p.115): "The Scripture on the Ten Kings says that release [for the dead] can be obtained if the grieving family sends offerings to each ot the Ten Kings at the appropriate time. Further, it was thought to be even more beneficial to send offerings to the Ten Kings on one's own behalf while still living. In China, such offerings were made as far back as the 9th C. in the form of ten fasting days. Thus, this scripture promoted both postmortem & premortem rituals.” Teiser (1994, p. 53) notes that Taoist texts show the ritual of ten fasting days may have existed as far back as the 6th C. Both China & Japan (seemingly in tandem) "paired" the Ten Kings with Buddhist Deities, but the pairings show no known correspondence. Likewise, China/Japan (seemingly in tandem) paired Jizō 地蔵 & Enma 閻魔 (lord of hell).The Ten Kings arrived in Japan in the late Heian era (794-1185). Says Duncan R. Williams (p. 231): "The ten memorial rites for the dead, based on belief in the Ten Kings, were developed in Japanese apocryphal sūtras (login = guest) & later became a standard part of funerary rites in Shingon, Tendai, Zen, Jōdō, & Nichiren traditions. Paintings depicting the Ten Kings judging the dead were used for ritual or didactic purposes at times when the ancestral spirits were thought to return to this world." Artwork of the 13 Buddhist Deities appeared in Japan in the late 12th C. But texts referring to the 13 Deities do not appear until the Muromachi era (1392-1573). According to Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行 (1975), it is unclear when the 13 Deity Rites were first used. In the Muromachi era, however, Ueshima says offering tablets (kuyōhi 供養碑) to the 13 Deities were built all around Japan. Ueshima believes these were built for the performance of Gyakushu Kuyō 逆修供養 (reverse performance benefits; aka "premortem" rites) by ordinary folk. Gyakushu, aka yoshu 預修, is performed while one is still alive to accrue benefits for oneself after death. In postmortem rites (Tsuizen Kuyō 追善供養) for the dead, the deceased only acquires 1/7th of the benefits, while the performer acquires 6/7th. In the Gyakushu, the performers acquire the full 7/7 benefits for themselves. For this reason the ritual is also called Shichibu Kentoku 七分全得. For more details on rituals involving the 13 Deities, see Karen Mack's Notebook. Elsewhere, Watanabe Shōgo 渡辺章悟 (1989, p. 210) estimates that, across Japan, there are more than four hundred medieval monuments (ihin 遺品) dedicated to the 13 Deities. Many of these are catalogued online by Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. The 12th/13th C. Scripture on Jizō & Ten Kings 佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經 (see Tripitaka CBETA) is the oldest text that pairs the kings with ten Buddhist deities. It is considered a Japanese text but its precise origin is unknown. In medieval times, China too "paired" its ten kings with Buddhist deities (Slide Five), but the China / Japan pairings show no correspondence. The Jizō = Enma link likely occurred in China before Japan. By the mid-14th C., Japan had added three more deities, three more kings, & three more memorial rites (i.e., 7th, 13th, 33rd years). These new deities & rites are found only in Japan. They probably originated with Japan’s Shingon school, but were widely appropriated by other schools.
Slide 4. Seven Seventh-Day Rites & Ten Kings of the Underworld.

The Shichi-shichi-nichi chūin 七七日中陰 (seven X seven = 49 days between death & rebirth; login = guest) can be traced back to India. The term appears in the 4th-C. AD Yogacāra bhūmi-śāstra 瑜伽師地論 (login = guest); T.1579.30.282b1. The concept played a pivotal role in the 8th-C. Tibetan Book of the Dead. The seven-sevens also appear in Sanskrit & Pali texts dated to the 3rd/4th C. AD, including the Mahāvastu, Nidanakatha, Lalitavistara, & Mahabodhi Vamsa (date?). The latter work says the Historical Buddha fasted for 7 weeks (49 days) after his enlightenment. JAPANESE PRECEDENTS. 687 AD, 100th day memorial, Nihon Shoki 日本書紀; held at five temples for Emperor Tenmu 天武天皇. 735 AD, seven seventh-day rites 七七斎 mentioned by Emperor Shōmu 太上天皇 in the imperially commissioned historical record Shoku Nihongi 続日本紀 757 AD, 1st year memorial 周忌, Shoku Nihongi; held for Emperor Shōmu 太上天皇 at Tōdaiji. 11th C. Shōryōshū 性霊集 (scroll 7), 3rd year rites for Kūkai; text also mentions 7th week & 1st year rites. By the end of the Heian era (794-1185 AD), there is textual evidence of memorial services connecting the 49 days with specific Buddhist deities, e.g., diary of Taira no Nobunori 平信範 (1112 - 1187) entitled Hyōhanki 兵範記. FOR MORE: See Karen Gerhart, pp. 19-26.

China's Ten Kings (Jūō 十王) appear in the Scripture on the Ten Kings 佛說預修十王生七經, compiled sometime in the 9th or early 10th C. AD. The dead undergo trials by the ten, with the first seven kings covering the crucial seven-week (49 day) period, followed by three more trials on the 100th day, the 1st year, & the 3rd year after death. The 100th day, 1st year, & 3rd year rites are found in the Chinese Book of Rites, said to be the work of Confucius (551–479 BC). The ancient term for the 100th day rite was 卒哭 (scroll 21). The ancient terms for 1st year and 3rd year rites were 小祥 & 大祥 (scroll 37). Writes Hutchins (p.52 & p.115): "The Scripture on the Ten Kings says that release [for the dead] can be obtained if the grieving family sends offerings to each ot the Ten Kings at the appropriate time. Further, it was thought to be even more beneficial to send offerings to the Ten Kings on one's own behalf while still living. In China, such offerings were made as far back as the 9th C. in the form of ten fasting days. Thus, this scripture promoted both postmortem & premortem rituals.” Teiser (1994, p. 53) notes that Taoist texts show the ritual of ten fasting days may have existed as far back as the 6th C. Both China & Japan (seemingly in tandem) "paired" the Ten Kings with Buddhist Deities, but the pairings show no known correspondence. Likewise, China/Japan (seemingly in tandem) paired Jizō 地蔵 & Enma 閻魔 (lord of hell).

The Ten Kings arrived in Japan in the late Heian era (794-1185). Says Duncan R. Williams (p. 231): "The ten memorial rites for the dead, based on belief in the Ten Kings, were developed in Japanese apocryphal sūtras (login = guest) & later became a standard part of funerary rites in Shingon, Tendai, Zen, Jōdō, & Nichiren traditions. Paintings depicting the Ten Kings judging the dead were used for ritual or didactic purposes at times when the ancestral spirits were thought to return to this world." Artwork of the 13 Buddhist Deities appeared in Japan in the late 12th C. But texts referring to the 13 Deities do not appear until the Muromachi era (1392-1573). According to Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行 (1975), it is unclear when the 13 Deity Rites were first used. In the Muromachi era, however, Ueshima says offering tablets (kuyōhi 供養碑) to the 13 Deities were built all around Japan. Ueshima believes these were built for the performance of Gyakushu Kuyō 逆修供養 (reverse performance benefits; aka "premortem" rites) by ordinary folk. Gyakushu, aka yoshu 預修, is performed while one is still alive to accrue benefits for oneself after death. In postmortem rites (Tsuizen Kuyō 追善供養) for the dead, the deceased only acquires 1/7th of the benefits, while the performer acquires 6/7th. In the Gyakushu, the performers acquire the full 7/7 benefits for themselves. For this reason the ritual is also called Shichibu Kentoku 七分全得. For more details on rituals involving the 13 Deities, see Karen Mack's Notebook. Elsewhere, Watanabe Shōgo 渡辺章悟 (1989, p. 210) estimates that, across Japan, there are more than four hundred medieval monuments (ihin 遺品) dedicated to the 13 Deities. Many of these are catalogued online by Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. The 12th/13th C. Scripture on Jizō & Ten Kings 佛説地藏菩薩發心因縁十王經 (see Tripitaka CBETA) is the oldest text that pairs the kings with ten Buddhist deities. It is considered a Japanese text but its precise origin is unknown. In medieval times, China too "paired" its ten kings with Buddhist deities (Slide Five), but the China / Japan pairings show no correspondence. The Jizō = Enma link likely occurred in China before Japan. By the mid-14th C., Japan had added three more deities, three more kings, & three more memorial rites (i.e., 7th, 13th, 33rd years). These new deities & rites are found only in Japan. They probably originated with Japan’s Shingon school, but were widely appropriated by other schools.


 
 
 
Slide 5. Ten Kings of the Underworld & Jizō Bodhisattva, 12th century, Baodingshan, China. Carved between 1179 and 1249 AD. Buddhist counterparts to the kings are carved in the niches above, clearly showing early Chinese examples of honji-suijaku (i.e., pairing Buddhist deities with local gods). The Chinese pairings, however, show no known correspondence to Japanese pairings. PHOTOS: Art and Archaeology  |||  Eric Henry. SOURCE: The Inflatable, Collapsible Kingdom of Retribution: A Primer on Japanese Hell Imagery and Imagination, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 1-50, by Caroline Hirasawa. She says conceptions of hell, originating in India, picked up new attributes and finer delineation as they migrated across China and Korea to finally arrive in Japan. Writes Hiraswa (p.2): "Although the chronological development of notions of hell in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist thought on the subcontinent is difficult to determine, the sparse descriptions in early texts clearly contain seeds of later elaborations. In Chinese translations of Indian sutras and commentaries that circulated widely in Japan, hell functioned as part of an immense cosmology. Its contours varied greatly from text to text."
Slide 5. Ten Kings of the Underworld & Jizō Bodhisattva, 12th century, Baodingshan, China. Carved between 1179 and 1249 AD. Buddhist counterparts to the kings are carved in the niches above, clearly showing early Chinese examples of honji-suijaku (i.e., pairing Buddhist deities with local gods). The Chinese pairings, however, show no known correspondence to Japanese pairings. PHOTOS: Art and Archaeology ||| Eric Henry. SOURCE: The Inflatable, Collapsible Kingdom of Retribution: A Primer on Japanese Hell Imagery and Imagination, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 1-50, by Caroline Hirasawa. She says conceptions of hell, originating in India, picked up new attributes and finer delineation as they migrated across China and Korea to finally arrive in Japan. Writes Hiraswa (p.2): "Although the chronological development of notions of hell in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist thought on the subcontinent is difficult to determine, the sparse descriptions in early texts clearly contain seeds of later elaborations. In Chinese translations of Indian sutras and commentaries that circulated widely in Japan, hell functioned as part of an immense cosmology. Its contours varied greatly from text to text."
Slide 6. Ten Kings & Ten Buddhist Counterparts 十仏十王図, 13th Century. Cartouche Style, Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Nara National Museum /// Identifications. Says Says Hirasawa (p. 26): "As correspondences of originals (honji 本地) to manifestations (suijaku 垂迹) settled into standard formulae, the importance and size of the honji increased. This reached an extreme in a 14th-century painting of a colossal Jizō appearing to stand directly on top of Enma's head [see Nihon no Bijutsu 日本の美術, No. 313, Shibundō, 1992]. In another, later medieval cult, three buddhas associated with esoteric Buddhism joined the ten honji of the kings. Eventually the suijaku completely fell away from the iconography, leaving only images of the thirteen buddhas for mortuary rites, without visual references to judgment in hell."
Slide 6. Ten Kings & Ten Buddhist Counterparts 十仏十王図, 13th Century. Cartouche Style, Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Nara National Museum /// Identifications. Says Hirasawa (p. 26): "As correspondences of originals (honji 本地) to manifestations (suijaku 垂迹) settled into standard formulae, the importance and size of the honji increased. This reached an extreme in a 14th-century painting of a colossal Jizō appearing to stand directly on top of Enma's head [see Nihon no Bijutsu 日本の美術, No. 313, Shibundō, 1992]. In another, later medieval cult, three buddhas associated with esoteric Buddhism joined the ten honji of the kings. Eventually the suijaku completely fell away from the iconography, leaving only images of the thirteen buddhas for mortuary rites, without visual references to judgment in hell."
Slide 7. Ten Buddhist Deities and Ten Kings of Hell, Kamakura Era. Non-standard grouping. Treasure of Okayama Prefecture. 絹本著色遣迎二尊十王十仏図. Painting on Silk. PHOTO: Okayama Prefecture. RESOURCES: Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭 discusses this painting in Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published 1994 by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. Takeda traces the evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); & finally, thirteen Buddhas.
Slide 7. Ten Buddhist Deities and Ten Kings of Hell, Kamakura Era. Non-standard grouping. Treasure of Okayama Prefecture. 絹本著色遣迎二尊十王十仏図. Painting on Silk. PHOTO: Okayama Prefecture. RESOURCES: Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭 discusses this painting in Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published 1994 by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. Takeda traces the evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); & finally, thirteen Buddhas.
Slide 8. Ten Buddhist Deities Representing the Ten Kings of Hell, 1379 CE, standard grouping. Shaka in center. Fudō-in Ato 不動院跡, Katori City 香取市, Chiba, Japan. H = 165 cm, W = 132 cm. SOURCE: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 8. Ten Buddhist Deities Representing the Ten Kings of Hell, 1379 CE, standard grouping. Shaka in center. Fudō-in Ato 不動院跡, Katori City 香取市, Chiba, Japan. H = 165 cm, W = 132 cm. SOURCE: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 9. Ten Judges of Underworld with Jizō (in center). Late 12th Century. Stone statues at Usuki, Ōita, Japan. PHOTO: JapanTravel. Says Hank Glassman, pp. 18-19: "The idea that Jizō and Enma (lord of the world of the dead) are different manifestations of the same entity stems from the Japanese practice, well established by the time of the composition of The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings, of drawing equivalencies between Buddhist deities and local ones......The equivalence between Jizō and Enma was one that was extremely well known and widely cited in premodern Japan in both text and image. In Chinese and Korean paintings of the ten kings, Jizō was often accorded a central position. What is quite different in Japan is that Jizō is represented at the court of Enma, the fifth and greatest king, where he pleads on behalf of the deceased.....The immense popularity of Jizō in medieval and early modern Japan was fueled in large part by the belief that Jizō was the best advocate for the sinner being judged before the magistrate Enma, since Jizō was in fact the alter ego of this terrifying and intimidating judge. This relationship, described in the The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings, is made explicit in Japanese paintings of Enma or Jizō. [Slides 10~11]
Slide 9. Ten Judges of Underworld with Jizō (in center). Late 12th Century. Stone statues at Usuki, Ōita, Japan. PHOTO: JapanTravel. Says Hank Glassman, pp. 18-19: "The idea that Jizō and Enma (lord of the world of the dead) are different manifestations of the same entity stems from the Japanese practice, well established by the time of the composition of The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings, of drawing equivalencies between Buddhist deities and local ones......The equivalence between Jizō and Enma was one that was extremely well known and widely cited in premodern Japan in both text and image. In Chinese and Korean paintings of the ten kings, Jizō was often accorded a central position. What is quite different in Japan is that Jizō is represented at the court of Enma, the fifth and greatest king, where he pleads on behalf of the deceased.....The immense popularity of Jizō in medieval and early modern Japan was fueled in large part by the belief that Jizō was the best advocate for the sinner being judged before the magistrate Enma, since Jizō was in fact the alter ego of this terrifying and intimidating judge. This relationship, described in the The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings, is made explicit in Japanese paintings of Enma or Jizō. [Slides 10~11]
Slide 10. Says Hutchins (p. 55): “Although the Ten Kings were not originally conceived as Buddhist deities, Jizō was often a central figure in many of the pictures and artworks of the Ten Kings imported to Japan in the early Heian period. To be able to understand this, we need to take into consideration Jizō’s interpretation as an alter ego of King Yama 閻魔 (Jp. = Enma), the lord of the world of the dead. In many of the paintings of the courts of the Ten Kings produced in medieval Japan, Jizō is often superimposed above the fifth court of hell to demonstrate his role as the twin of King Yama. Such an association suggested that other kings could also potentially be seen as manifestations of Buddhist deities, and this view was made explicit in The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings. Like the earlier Scripture on the Ten Kings, it outlines the journey of the deceased’s spirit through ten courts of purgatory. The real importance of this text for our study is that it appears to be the earliest written record that pairs the Ten Kings with Buddhist deities. This is commonly referred to as an example of honji suijaku 本地垂迹 — a kind of assimilation process where the Ten Kings are seen as traces (suijaku), or alternative incarnations, of the original Buddhas (honji).” Ten Kings & Jizō. Nōman-in 能満院, Nara. Kamakura era. PHOTO: 日本の実をめぐる, No. 48, 2003, p. 37.Ten Kings & Jizō. Seikado Bunko Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Late 14th century. PHOTO: Zenheart.Jizō appearing above Enma, Jōfuku-ji 浄福寺, Kyoto. 14th C.  PHOTO: 日本の美術,  No. 313, 1992Jizō with Ten Kings of Hell, Ryukoku Museum 龍谷ミュージアム, Kyoto. 15th C. PHOTO: Ryukoku Museum. 10 Kings & 10 Honji, Zuiun-ji Temple 瑞雲寺, Kanazawa. 15th C. PHOTO:  Kanazawa City.

Slide 10. Says Hutchins (p. 55): “Although the Ten Kings were not originally conceived as Buddhist deities, Jizō was often a central figure in many of the pictures and artworks of the Ten Kings imported to Japan in the early Heian period. To be able to understand this, we need to take into consideration Jizō’s interpretation as an alter ego of King Yama 閻魔 (Jp. = Enma), the lord of the world of the dead. In many of the paintings of the courts of the Ten Kings produced in medieval Japan, Jizō is often superimposed above the fifth court of hell to demonstrate his role as the twin of King Yama. Such an association suggested that other kings could also potentially be seen as manifestations of Buddhist deities, and this view was made explicit in The Scripture on Jizō and the Ten Kings. Like the earlier Scripture on the Ten Kings, it outlines the journey of the deceased’s spirit through ten courts of purgatory. The real importance of this text for our study is that it appears to be the earliest written record that pairs the Ten Kings with Buddhist deities. This is commonly referred to as an example of honji suijaku 本地垂迹 — a kind of assimilation process where the Ten Kings are seen as traces (suijaku), or alternative incarnations, of the original Buddhas (honji).”

  1. Ten Kings & Jizō. Nōman-in 能満院, Nara. Kamakura era. PHOTO: 日本の実をめぐる, No. 48, 2003, p. 37.
  2. Ten Kings & Jizō. Seikado Bunko Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Late 14th century. PHOTO: Zenheart.
  3. Jizō appearing above Enma, Jōfuku-ji 浄福寺, Kyoto. 14th C.  PHOTO: 日本の美術,  No. 313, 1992
  4. Jizō with Ten Kings of Hell, Ryukoku Museum 龍谷ミュージアム, Kyoto. 15th C. PHOTO: Ryukoku Museum.
  5. 10 Kings & 10 Honji, Zuiun-ji Temple 瑞雲寺, Kanazawa. 15th C. PHOTO: Kanazawa City.

 
 
 
Slide 11. Six Realms & Ten Kings 六道十王図, Gokuraku Jigoku zu 極楽地獄図, 16th-17th century, Chōgaku-ji Temple 長岳寺, Nara Prefecture, set of ten scrolls. Writes Hirasawa (p. 26): "The ten kings, each with its honji, line up across the top of the scrolls, representing the process of judgment through time. Vast scenes of hell and the six realms below the kings evoke a spatial cosmology, subject to the temporal framework of judgment, and the scrolls conclude with a bridge leading from Abi hell (阿鼻地獄, lowest hell, hell of no interval) directly to a raigō 来迎 ("greeting") by Amida and his entourage, welcoming sinners to the Pure Land. According to Takasu Jun 鷹巣純, these images do not merely patch together two traditions; they reconfigure and reinvigorate them as a mandatory circuit through hell that ends in salvation -- and that audiences can experience vicariously." PHOTO: Nara Women's University Academic Info Center.
Slide 11. Ten Kings of Hell and Their Ten Buddhist CounterpartsSix Realms & Ten Kings 六道十王図, Gokuraku Jigoku zu 極楽地獄図, 16th-17th century, Chōgaku-ji Temple 長岳寺, Nara Prefecture, set of ten scrolls. Writes Hirasawa (p. 26): "The ten kings, each with its honji, line up across the top of the scrolls, representing the process of judgment through time. Vast scenes of hell and the six realms below the kings evoke a spatial cosmology, subject to the temporal framework of judgment, and the scrolls conclude with a bridge leading from Abi hell (阿鼻地獄, lowest hell, hell of no interval) directly to a raigō 来迎 ("greeting") by Amida and his entourage, welcoming sinners to the Pure Land. According to Takasu Jun 鷹巣純, these images do not merely patch together two traditions; they reconfigure and reinvigorate them as a mandatory circuit through hell that ends in salvation -- and that audiences can experience vicariously." PHOTO: Nara Women's University Academic Info Center.
Slide 12. Ten Judges of the Underworld. From the Japanese text Butsuzō-zui 仏像図彙 (Collected Illustrations of Buddhist Images), 1690 CE (Genroku 元禄 3).
Slide 12. Ten Judges of the Underworld. From the Japanese text Butsuzō-zui 仏像図彙 (Collected Illustrations of Buddhist Images), 1690 CE (Genroku 元禄 3).
Slide 13. Ten Judges of the Underworld. From the expanded version of the Butsuzō-zui 仏像図彙 (Slide 12), published in 1783 and entitled Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui  増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). View digitized version.
Slide 13. Ten Judges of the Underworld. From the expanded version of the Butsuzō-zui 仏像図彙 (Slide 12), published in 1783 and entitled Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). View digitized version.
Slide 14. Non-standard groupings of the Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan. 12th, 13th, & 14th centuries.
Slide 15. Sanskrit seed syllables (shuji 種字) involving Dainichi and other Buddhist deities in the Womb and Diamond World mandalas. The mandala (pronounced "mandara" in Japan) is especially important to Japan's Shingon and Tendai schools of esoteric Buddhism (mikkyō 密教). The most widely known mandala form in Japan is the Ryōkai Mandala 両界曼荼羅, translated as the Dual-World Mandala. It is composed of two separate mandala -- the Taizōkai 胎蔵界曼荼羅 or Womb World mandala (Skt. = Garbhadhātu), and the Kongōkai 金剛界曼荼羅 or Diamond World mandala.  (Skt. = Vajrahātu). At esoteric temples, the Diaaimond mandala is hung on the east axis to the main altar, while the Womb mandala is hung on the west. The Thirteen Buddhist Deities were created as a mini mandala set to pray that one would not be reborn in a lower realm racked by hellish pain. SEED SOURCE: Tobifudō Shōbō-in 飛不動尊 正宝院.
Slide 15. Sanskrit seed syllables (shuji 種字) involving Dainichi and other Buddhist deities in the Womb and Diamond World mandalas. The mandala (pronounced "mandara" in Japan) is especially important to Japan's Shingon and Tendai schools of esoteric Buddhism (mikkyō 密教). The most widely known mandala form in Japan is the Ryōkai Mandala 両界曼荼羅, translated as the Dual-World Mandala. It is composed of two separate mandala -- the Taizōkai 胎蔵界曼荼羅 or Womb World mandala (Skt. = Garbhadhātu), and the Kongōkai 金剛界曼荼羅 or Diamond World mandala. (Skt. = Vajrahātu). At esoteric temples, the Diaaimond mandala is hung on the east axis to the main altar, while the Womb mandala is hung on the west. The Thirteen Buddhist Deities were created as a mini mandala set to pray that one would not be reborn in a lower realm racked by hellish pain. SEED SOURCE: Tobifudō Shōbō-in 飛不動尊 正宝院.
Slide 16. Sanskrit seed syllables (shuji 種字) for Japan's  Thirteen Buddhist Deities. SEED SOURCES: 潮音寺  |||   Tobifudō Shōbō-in.
Slide 16. Sanskrit seed syllables (shuji 種字) for Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities. SEED SOURCES: 潮音寺 ||| Tobifudō Shōbō-in.
Slide 17. Non-standard grouping, 1182 CE. One of the oldest representations of the thirteen in Japan. Tsutsuno 筒野, Iizuka City 飯塚市, Fukuoka. H = 146 cm. Dainichi at center. This memorial stone is the centerpiece of a three-stone set. The thirteen are represented by their Sanskrit seed syllables and placements as found in the central eight-pedal court (Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中台八葉院) of the Womb World Mandala. In the top row, Dainichi sits in the center surrounded on both sides by two other Buddhas. In the middle mandala section, all thirteen Sanskrit seeds and placements conform to the Womb World Mandala. At the bottom are Three Gongen (権現 avatars) of Mt. Hiko, confirming that Honji Suijaku 本地垂迹 concepts were already employed at this early date. The Sanskrit seed for ア (Ah) is given special importance in Esoteric Buddhism. It represents the origin of all vowels, the basis of speech, and the "essence of all things." It is the object of the AJIKAN 阿字觀 meditation ritual, one of the key rituals in Esoteric Buddhism. The inscription reads 勧進僧圓朝、奉立石躰、五智如来像、彦山三所権現、八葉曼荼羅梵字、現世末代行者修理、養和二年 (1182 CE)、歳次、壬寅、八月初四日、壬刁、時正中. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. He catalogs hundreds of memorial stones at 13 Buddhist Deities  |||   Stone Buddhist Statues  |||   Itabi.
Slide 17. Non-standard grouping, 1182 CE. One of the oldest representations of the thirteen in Japan. Tsutsuno 筒野, Iizuka City 飯塚市, Fukuoka. H = 146 cm. Dainichi at center. This memorial stone is the centerpiece of a three-stone set. The thirteen are represented by their Sanskrit seed syllables and placements as found in the central eight-pedal court (Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中台八葉院) of the Womb World Mandala. In the top row, Dainichi sits in the center surrounded on both sides by two other Buddhas. In the middle mandala section, all thirteen Sanskrit seeds and placements conform to the Womb World Mandala. At the bottom are Three Gongen (権現 avatars) of Mt. Hiko, confirming that Honji Suijaku 本地垂迹 concepts were already employed at this early date. The Sanskrit seed for ア (Ah) is given special importance in Esoteric Buddhism. It represents the origin of all vowels, the basis of speech, and the "essence of all things." It is the object of the AJIKAN 阿字觀 meditation ritual, one of the key rituals in Esoteric Buddhism. The inscription reads 勧進僧圓朝、奉立石躰、五智如来像、彦山三所権現、八葉曼荼羅梵字、現世末代行者修理、養和二年 (1182 CE)、歳次、壬寅、八月初四日、壬刁、時正中. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. He catalogs hundreds of memorial stones at 13 Buddhist Deities ||| Stone Buddhist Statues ||| Itabi.
Slide 18. Late 12th Century. Non-standard grouping. Stone carvings in Usuki, Ōita, Japan. The Four Deities Guarding the Four Cardinal Directions typically refers to the Shitennō 四天王, but at Usuki, only two of the four (Tamonten and Zōchōten) make their appearance -- the other two (Kōmokuten and Jikokuten) are missing. They have been replaced by Fudō Myō-ō and Gōzanze Myō-ō, two protector deities closley associated with Dainichi and Esoteric Buddhism. The Diamond World Mandala, for example, features a Dainichi Triad (Dainichi Sanzon 大日三尊) that includes Gōzanze, while the Womb World Mandala features a Dainichi Triad that includes Fudō. Here we see a creative blending of the dual-world mandala. Dainichi is in the center (suggesting esoteric origin). Jizō is missing, but can be found in a nearby grotto surrounded by the Ten Kings of the Underworld (see Slide 9). Although the origin (date, sponsor) of the Usuki carvings is clouded in uncertainty, most locals say they were commissioned by a rich man after his daughter died to save her from rebirth in an evil realm. Standard mandala positioning verified using the Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典, 1993, published by Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. More on Usuki.
Slide 18. Late 12th Century. Non-standard grouping. Stone carvings in Usuki, Ōita, Japan. The Four Deities Guarding the Four Cardinal Directions typically refers to the Shitennō 四天王, but at Usuki, only two of the four (Tamonten and Zōchōten) make their appearance -- the other two (Kōmokuten and Jikokuten) are missing. They have been replaced by Fudō Myō-ō and Gōzanze Myō-ō, two protector deities closley associated with Dainichi and Esoteric Buddhism. The Diamond World Mandala, for example, features a Dainichi Triad (Dainichi Sanzon 大日三尊) that includes Gōzanze, while the Womb World Mandala features a Dainichi Triad that includes Fudō. Here we see a creative blending of the dual-world mandala. Dainichi is in the center (suggesting esoteric origin). Jizō is missing, but can be found in a nearby grotto surrounded by the Ten Kings of the Underworld (see Slide 9). Although the origin (date, sponsor) of the Usuki carvings is clouded in uncertainty, most locals say they were commissioned by a rich man after his daughter died to save her from rebirth in an evil realm. Standard mandala positioning verified using the Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典, 1993, published by Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. More on Usuki.
Slide 19. Late 12th century. Non-standard grouping. Usuki Magaibutsu 臼杵石仏 Stone carvings in Usuki, Ōita (Japan) after their 1980-to-1994 repair (compare to next photo). These thirteen statues might be the prototype for the Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan. PHOTO: Japanese magazine National Treasures of Japan 日本の国宝, July 13, 1997. Deity names and English text added by Schumacher.
Slide 19. Late 12th century. Non-standard grouping. Usuki Magaibutsu 臼杵石仏 Stone carvings in Usuki, Ōita (Japan) after their 1980-to-1994 repair (compare to next photo). These thirteen statues might be the prototype for the Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan. PHOTO: Japanese magazine National Treasures of Japan 日本の国宝, July 13, 1997. Deity names and English text added by Schumacher.
Slide 20. Late 12th century. Non-standard grouping. Usuki Magaibutsu 臼杵石仏. Stone carvings in Ōita (Japan), shown here before their restoration. PHOTO: This J-Site.
Slide 20. Late 12th century. Non-standard grouping. Usuki Magaibutsu 臼杵石仏. Stone carvings in Ōita (Japan), shown here before their restoration. PHOTO: This J-Site.
Slide 21. MANDALA OF ELEVEN VENERABLES. The Ten Kings of Hell (see Slides 5~13) do not appear in this piece, but the honji-suijaku 本地垂迹 pairing of the ten kings (suijaku) with ten Buddhist counterparts (honji) is implicit. Here we see only the ten Buddhist counterparts (the kings disappear). The only new member (the 11th member) is Dainichi Buddha, who appears at the center of a three-column, three-row mandala format. This suggests an esoteric origin – either Tendai or Shingon – and in the above example, it happens to be Tendai. The only new member (the 11th member) is Dainichi Buddha, who appears here at the center of a three-column, three-row mandala format. This suggests an esoteric origin – either Tendai or Shingon – and in the above examples, it happens to be Tendai. PHOTO: Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭, Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Venerables, pp. 22-24, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai 十三仏図の成立について:十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990). Also see Takeda’s 1994 article Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. Also see Takeda’s 1997 article  Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka, Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として. Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. Takeda traces the general evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); and finally, thirteen buddhas.
Slide 21. MANDALA OF ELEVEN VENERABLES. The Ten Kings of Hell (see Slides 5~13) do not appear in this piece, but the honji-suijaku 本地垂迹 pairing of the ten kings (suijaku) with ten Buddhist counterparts (honji) is implicit. Here we see only the ten Buddhist counterparts (the kings disappear). The only new member (the 11th member) is Dainichi Buddha, who appears here at the center of a three-column, three-row mandala format. This suggests an esoteric origin – either Tendai or Shingon – and in the above examples, it happens to be Tendai. PHOTO: Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭, Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Venerables, pp. 22-24, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai 十三仏図の成立について:十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990). Also see Takeda’s 1994 article Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. Also see Takeda’s 1997 article Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka, Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として. Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. Takeda traces the general evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); and finally, thirteen buddhas.


Slide 22. PHOTO: Tokyo National Museum. For more on the Mandala of Eleven Venerables and its impact on the evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities, see Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭, Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Venerables, pp. 22-24, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai 十三仏図の成立について:十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990). Also see Takeda’s 1994 article Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. See also Takeda’s 1997 article  Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka, Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として. Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. Takeda traces the general evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); and finally, thirteen buddhas.
Slide 22. PHOTO: Tokyo National Museum. For more on the Mandala of Eleven Venerables and its impact on the evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities, see Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭, Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Venerables, pp. 22-24, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai 十三仏図の成立について:十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990). Also see Takeda’s 1994 article Reconsideration on the Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Paintings of the Thirteen Buddhas, Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として. Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. See also Takeda’s 1997 article Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka, Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として. Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. Takeda traces the general evolution of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as follows: ten kings with ten buddhas; ten kings with eleven buddhas; eleven buddhas (the kings vanish); and finally, thirteen buddhas.
Slide 23. 1306 CE. Non-standard grouping. Twelve Buddhist Deities on a six-sided memorial stone (Hozuki Rokumenseidō 保月六面石幢; H = 265 cm). Takahashi City, Okayama, Japan. Fudō appears twice; Dainichi and Ashuku are missing. Three triads appear -- the Shaka Triad (Shaka, Monju, Fugen), the Amida Triad (Amida, Kannon, Seishi), and the Buddhas of Three Ages (Amida = past, Shaka = present, Miroku = Future). Says Steven Hutchins (Masters Degree, SOAS, 2013) in his book Thirteen Buddhas (pp. 75~76): "The inscription shows that the pillar was constructed for rituals connected to twelve Buddhist deities, and Kawakatsu alleges that it was likely used for premortem offerings as opposed to memorial services for the deceased. But what else can be surmised from this monument? Yajima asserts that the connection of the Buddhas with the period of time extending to thirteen years reveals an intermediate stage of development between the Ten Kings and the Thirteen Buddhas. In other words, this pillar indicates a ‘transitional period’ where the selection of Buddhist deities started to exceed beyond ten, but had not yet reached the fixed order of what would later become the Thirteen Buddhas." PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. See his index pages here: Thirteen Buddhist Deities  |||   Stone Buddhist Statues. Also see Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsannbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111. Also see Yajima Arata 矢島新. 1990. Gunma-ken ka no butsuga kara: Numatashi Shōkakuzō Jūōzu to Jyūsanbutsu Seiritsu no Mondai  群馬県下の仏面から: 沼田市正覚寺蔵十王図と十三仏成立の問題 (Ten Kings'  Art and the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Shōgaku-ji Temple, Numata City). Bulletin of Gunma Prefectural Women’s College 群馬県立女子大学紀要, No. 10, pp. 63-73.
Slide 23. 1306 CE. Non-standard grouping. Twelve Buddhist Deities on a six-sided memorial stone (Hozuki Rokumenseidō 保月六面石幢; H = 265 cm). Takahashi City, Okayama, Japan. Fudō appears twice; Dainichi and Ashuku are missing. Three triads appear -- the Shaka Triad (Shaka, Monju, Fugen), the Amida Triad (Amida, Kannon, Seishi), and the Buddhas of Three Ages (Amida = past, Shaka = present, Miroku = Future). Says Steven Hutchins (Masters Degree, SOAS, 2013) in his book Thirteen Buddhas (pp. 75~76): "The inscription shows that the pillar was constructed for rituals connected to twelve Buddhist deities, and Kawakatsu alleges that it was likely used for premortem offerings as opposed to memorial services for the deceased. But what else can be surmised from this monument? Yajima asserts that the connection of the Buddhas with the period of time extending to thirteen years reveals an intermediate stage of development between the Ten Kings and the Thirteen Buddhas. In other words, this pillar indicates a ‘transitional period’ where the selection of Buddhist deities started to exceed beyond ten, but had not yet reached the fixed order of what would later become the Thirteen Buddhas." PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. See his index pages here: Thirteen Buddhist Deities ||| Stone Buddhist Statues. Also see Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsannbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111. Also see Yajima Arata 矢島新. 1990. Gunma-ken ka no butsuga kara: Numatashi Shōkakuzō Jūōzu to Jyūsanbutsu Seiritsu no Mondai  群馬県下の仏面から: 沼田市正覚寺蔵十王図と十三仏成立の問題 (Ten Kings'  Art and the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Shōgaku-ji Temple, Numata City). Bulletin of Gunma Prefectural Women’s College 群馬県立女子大学紀要, No. 10, pp. 63-73.
Slide 24. 1329 CE. Non-standard grouping. Ten Buddhist Deities represented by their Sanskrit seed syllables, which appear along the right and left sides. It includes two Dainichi and one Fukūjōshū. Stone stele. H = 100 cm, W = 48 cm. Dairyū-ji Temple 大龍寺, Katori City, Chiba, Japan. The large seed in the middle represents Amida. An additional five seeds appear at the top of the stone -- they represent the five elements. To this day, the five elements are a common motif on long wooden graveyard prayer tablets in Japan. This stone stele is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities (honji) with the Ten Judges of Hell (suijaku; see Slides 3~13) was not yet standardized at this late date. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄  |||  Tobifudo Shōbō-in 正寶院.
Slide 24. 1329 CE. Non-standard grouping. Ten Buddhist Deities represented by their Sanskrit seed syllables, which appear along the right and left sides. It includes two Dainichi and one Fukūjōshū. Stone stele. H = 100 cm, W = 48 cm. Dairyū-ji Temple 大龍寺, Katori City, Chiba, Japan. The large seed in the middle represents Amida. An additional five seeds appear at the top of the stone -- they represent the five elements. To this day, the five elements are a common motif on long wooden graveyard prayer tablets in Japan. This stone stele is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities (honji) with the Ten Judges of Hell (suijaku; see Slides 3~13) was not yet standardized at this late date. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄 ||| Tobifudo Shōbō-in 正寶院.
Slide 25. 1345 CE. Non-standard grouping, with three esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. Tokigawa-machi, Saitama, Japan. Ashuku and Kokūzō are missing. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. His site catalogs hundreds of stone memorials.
Slide 25. 1345 CE. Non-standard grouping, with three esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. Tokigawa-machi, Saitama, Japan. Ashuku and Kokūzō are missing. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. His site catalogs hundreds of stone memorials.
Slide 26. 1359 CE. Non-standard grouping. Enmeiji 延命寺, Sakatashi City 酒田市, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Twelve Buddhist deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seed syllables. Says Steven Hutchins (Masters Degree, SOAS, 2013) in his book Thirteen Buddhas (pp. 78~80): "Another example that further illustrates this transitional period [editor: from 10, to 11, to 12, to 13 deities] is a stone memorial located in a Shingon temple in Yamagata prefecture called Enmeiji 延命寺. The inclusion of twelve deities suggest a movement towards the Thirteen Buddhas, but the centrality of the Amida triad in this monument indicates that this could also be looked on as Ten Buddhas with Amida as the main honzon -- the Amida triad counting as one single Buddha. The appearance of Kongō Satta provides another problem for researchers attempting to link this monument with the Thirteen Buddha Rites. Kawakatsu says that although the addition of Ashuku is consistent with a general transition towards the Thirteen Buddhas, he is at a loss to explain why Kongō Satta should be included. One possibility is that the Sanskrit inscription for Kongō Satta could have been mistakenly transmitted instead of Dainichi’s." Mark here. Kongō Satta appears in a Dainichi Triad in the Diamond World Mandala, so Kongō Satta’s appearance can be justified. Inscription = Unable to find it on web. PHOTO: This J-site. Also see Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsanbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111.
Slide 26. 1359 CE. Non-standard grouping. Enmeiji 延命寺, Sakatashi City 酒田市, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Twelve Buddhist deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seed syllables. Says Steven Hutchins (Masters Degree, SOAS, 2013) in his book Thirteen Buddhas (pp. 78~80): "Another example that further illustrates this transitional period [editor: from 10, to 11, to 12, to 13 deities] is a stone memorial located in a Shingon temple in Yamagata prefecture called Enmeiji 延命寺. The inclusion of twelve deities suggest a movement towards the Thirteen Buddhas, but the centrality of the Amida triad in this monument indicates that this could also be looked on as Ten Buddhas with Amida as the main honzon -- the Amida triad counting as one single Buddha. The appearance of Kongō Satta provides another problem for researchers attempting to link this monument with the Thirteen Buddha Rites. Kawakatsu says that although the addition of Ashuku is consistent with a general transition towards the Thirteen Buddhas, he is at a loss to explain why Kongō Satta should be included. One possibility is that the Sanskrit inscription for Kongō Satta could have been mistakenly transmitted instead of Dainichi’s." Mark here. Kongō Satta appears in a Dainichi Triad in the Diamond World Mandala, so Kongō Satta’s appearance can be justified. Inscription = Unable to find it on web. PHOTO: This J-site. Also see Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsanbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111.
Slide 27. 1378 CE. Non-standard grouping. Thirteen Buddhist Deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seeds. Haguro Jūsanbutsu Dō 羽黒十三仏堂, Inzai City 印西市, Chiba, Japan. H = 117 cm, W = 97 cm. Here we see the ten Buddhist manifestations (honji) of the Ten Kings of the Underworld (suijaku), with the addition of three manifestations of Dainichi. This memorial stone is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities with the Ten Judges of Hell was largely standardized by this time. What is unusual here is the arrangement of the deities. It differs greatly from the standard format. Also, this stone confirms that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities were still showing regional variations in the late 14th century. In the standard group (which emerged in the mid-14th century), the last three are Ashuku, Dainichi, and Kokūzō. But here, the last three are esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 27. 1378 CE. Non-standard grouping. Thirteen Buddhist Deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seeds. Haguro Jūsanbutsu Dō 羽黒十三仏堂, Inzai City 印西市, Chiba, Japan. H = 117 cm, W = 97 cm. Here we see the ten Buddhist manifestations (honji) of the Ten Kings of the Underworld (suijaku), with the addition of three manifestations of Dainichi. This memorial stone is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities with the Ten Judges of Hell was largely standardized by this time. What is unusual here is the arrangement of the deities. It differs greatly from the standard format. Also, this stone confirms that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities were still showing regional variations in the late 14th century. In the standard group (which emerged in the mid-14th century), the last three are Ashuku, Dainichi, and Kokūzō. But here, the last three are esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 28. 1397 CE. Non-standard grouping. Thirteen Buddhist Deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seeds. Tafuku-in 多福院, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi, Japan. H = 212 cm, W = 45.5 cm. Here we see the ten Buddhist manifestations (honji) for the Ten Kings of the Underworld (suijaku), plus three manifestations of Dainichi. This memorial stone is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities with the Ten Judges of Hell was largely standardized by this time. Also, this stone confirms that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities were still showing regional variations in the late 14th century. In the stardard group, which emerged in the mid-14th century, the last three are Ashuku, Dainichi, and Kokūzō. But here, the last three are esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. Sanskrit seeds involving the sound  ア (A) are given special importance in Esoteric Buddhism. "A" represents the origin of all vowels, the basis of speech, and the "essence of all things." It is the object of the AJIKAN 阿字觀 meditation ritual, one of the key rituals in Esoteric Buddhism. All this suggests Esoteric origins. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 28. 1397 CE. Non-standard grouping. Thirteen Buddhist Deities symbolized by their Sanskrit seeds. Tafuku-in 多福院, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi, Japan. H = 212 cm, W = 45.5 cm. Here we see the ten Buddhist manifestations (honji) for the Ten Kings of the Underworld (suijaku), plus three manifestations of Dainichi. This memorial stone is important evidence that the honji-suijaku pairing of the Ten Buddhist Deities with the Ten Judges of Hell was largely standardized by this time. Also, this stone confirms that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities were still showing regional variations in the late 14th century. In the stardard group, which emerged in the mid-14th century, the last three are Ashuku, Dainichi, and Kokūzō. But here, the last three are esoteric manifestations of Dainichi. Sanskrit seeds involving the sound ア (A) are given special importance in Esoteric Buddhism. "A" represents the origin of all vowels, the basis of speech, and the "essence of all things." It is the object of the AJIKAN 阿字觀 meditation ritual, one of the key rituals in Esoteric Buddhism. All this suggests Esoteric origins. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄.
Slide 29. Standard Grouping of Japan's 13 Buddhist Deities.
Slide 30. Mandala Pattern. Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities include (A) five buddha with Dainichi at center; (B) four bodhisattva guarding four semi-directions; and (C) four deities guarding four cardinal directions. 5 + 4 + 4 = 13. Except for Miroku (normally NE) and Shaka (normally N), the deities are placed properly. Along the north-south axis in both non-standard and standard groupings, Miroku (N) is the Buddha of the Future, while Shaka (S) is the Buddha of the Present. In the standard format, Miroku is joined by Kokūzō (sky repository) in the north and Shaka by Jizō (earth repository) in the south. This Kokūzō/Jizō pairing is a popular old pairing largely forgotten in modern times. And in early scriptures, Jizō comes from the south. Jizō is also aligned with Miroku on the north-south axis, as Jizō vowed to remain among us doing good works until Miroku's return as the Buddha of the Future. In the standard group, Ashuku is placed in the east, for Ashuku is lord of the eastern paradise Zenke 善快. Similarly, Amida is placed in the west, for Amida is lord of the western paradise Gokuraku 極楽, while Yakushi is situated in the east, for Yakushi is lord of the eastern paradise Jōruri 浄瑠璃. Also, Ashuku and Fudō appear on the east-west axis along with Dainichi. This is befitting, as Ashuku (E) appears in a Dainichi triad in the Diamond World mandala, while Fudō (W) appears in a Dainichi triad in the Womb World mandala. In Japanese esoteric Buddhism, the Diamond World mandala is hung on the east axis to the altar, while the Womb World mandala is hung on the west. CHART LAYOUT = Womb World Mandala's central eight-pedal court (Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中台八葉院).
Slide 30. Mandala Pattern. Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities include (A) five buddha with Dainichi at center; (B) four bodhisattva guarding four semi-directions; and (C) four deities guarding four cardinal directions. 5 + 4 + 4 = 13. Except for Miroku (normally NE) and Shaka (normally N), the deities are placed properly. Along the north-south axis in both non-standard and standard groupings, Miroku (N) is the Buddha of the Future, while Shaka (S) is the Buddha of the Present. In the standard format, Miroku is joined by Kokūzō (sky repository) in the north and Shaka by Jizō (earth repository) in the south. This Kokūzō/Jizō pairing is a popular old pairing largely forgotten in modern times. And in early scriptures, Jizō comes from the south. Jizō is also aligned with Miroku on the north-south axis, as Jizō vowed to remain among us doing good works until Miroku's return as the Buddha of the Future. In the standard group, Ashuku is placed in the east, for Ashuku is lord of the eastern paradise Zenke 善快. Similarly, Amida is placed in the west, for Amida is lord of the western paradise Gokuraku 極楽, while Yakushi is situated in the east, for Yakushi is lord of the eastern paradise Jōruri 浄瑠璃. Also, Ashuku and Fudō appear on the east-west axis along with Dainichi. This is befitting, as Ashuku (E) appears in a Dainichi triad in the Diamond World mandala, while Fudō (W) appears in a Dainichi triad in the Womb World mandala. In Japanese esoteric Buddhism, the Diamond World mandala is hung on the east axis to the altar, while the Womb World mandala is hung on the west. CHART LAYOUT = Womb World Mandala's central eight-pedal court (Chūdai Hachiyō-in 中台八葉院).
Slide 31. Standard Grouping, Common Art Formats. Methods to easily identify Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities. Slide 32. Three Buddha Center Pattern. Standard Grouping. Three Buddha in middle column and three in middle row.
Slide 33. 1373 CE. Three Buddha Center Format, Standard Grouping. Mantoku-ji Temple 萬徳寺, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. H = 113.1 cm, W = 52.4 cm. Depicts three Buddha in middle column and three Buddha in middle row. One of the oldest extant paintings of the thirteen in Japan. Dainichi wearing crown (a common esoteric representation). PHOTO: Obama City.
Slide 33. 1373 CE. Three Buddha Center Format, Standard Grouping. Mantoku-ji Temple 萬徳寺, Obama City, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. H = 113.1 cm, W = 52.4 cm. Depicts three Buddha in middle column and three Buddha in middle row. One of the oldest extant paintings of the thirteen in Japan. Dainichi wearing crown (a common esoteric representation). PHOTO: Obama City.
Slide 34. Modern. Three Buddha Center Pattern, Standard Grouping. H = 53 cm, W = 25.5 cm (painting only). Gallery Tenjiku, Japan. Same format/layout as prior slide. Depicts three Buddha in middle column and three Buddha in middle row. The Shaka Triad and Amida Triad are also prominent. PHOTO: item.rakuten.co.jp
Slide 34. Modern. Three Buddha Center Pattern, Standard Grouping. H = 53 cm, W = 25.5 cm (painting only). Gallery Tenjiku, Japan. Same format/layout as prior slide. Depicts three Buddha in middle column and three Buddha in middle row. The Shaka Triad and Amida Triad are also prominent. PHOTO: item.rakuten.co.jp
Slide 35. 1553 CE. Three Buddha Center Pattern with slight variation. Cartouche Style, Standard Grouping. Anyōji Temple 安養寺, Tsuyama City, Okayama, Japan. Prefectural Treasure. H = 109.0 cm, W = 57.4 cm. Three Buddha in middle column and in middle row. Dainichi is placed next to Kokūzō in the top row -- this is a slight variation of the Three Buddha Center Pattern, wherein Dainichi is normally positioned in the center of the middle column.  PHOTO: e-tsuyama.com
Slide 35. 1553 CE. Three Buddha Center Pattern with slight variation. Cartouche Style, Standard Grouping. Anyōji Temple 安養寺, Tsuyama City, Okayama, Japan. Prefectural Treasure. H = 109.0 cm, W = 57.4 cm. Three Buddha in middle column and in middle row. Dainichi is placed next to Kokūzō in the top row -- this is a slight variation of the Three Buddha Center Pattern, wherein Dainichi is normally positioned in the center of the middle column. PHOTO: e-tsuyama.com
Slide 36. The zigzag pattern is one of the most popular formats for paintings of Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities.
Slide 37. 14th Century. Zigzag Pattern, Standard Grouping. H = 95 cm, W = 37 cm. Okayama Prefectural Museum, Japan. Prefectural Treasure. PHOTO: kenhaku.pref.okayama.jp or  see larger photo from museum.
Slide 37. 14th Century. Zigzag Pattern, Standard Grouping. H = 95 cm, W = 37 cm. Okayama Prefectural Museum, Japan. Prefectural Treasure. PHOTO: kenhaku.pref.okayama.jp or see larger photo from museum.
Slide 38. Muromachi Era, Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. H = 100.8 cm, W = 41.7 cm. Hyōgo Pref. Museum of History. PHOTO: hyogo-c.ed.jp
Slide 38. Muromachi Era, Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. H = 100.8 cm, W = 41.7 cm. Hyōgo Pref. Museum of History. PHOTO: hyogo-c.ed.jp
Slide 39. Kamakura era. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions).  Sakai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. H = 170 cm, W = 60 cm. I question the validity of this early dating given the sub-standard info and photo provided by the source. PHOTO: town.sakai.ibaraki.jp
Slide 39. Kamakura era. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Sakai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. H = 170 cm, W = 60 cm. I question the validity of this early dating given the sub-standard info and photo provided by the source. PHOTO: town.sakai.ibaraki.jp
Slide 40. 1497 CE. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping.Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions).  Tōfukuji Temple 東福寺, Kyoto, Japan. Tōfukuji is a Shingon temple. Miroku Bosatsu (the Buddha of the Future) is colored white like the other five Buddha. PHOTO: www.toufukuji.or.jp/original7.html
Slide 40. 1497 CE. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping.Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Tōfukuji Temple 東福寺, Kyoto, Japan. Tōfukuji is a Shingon temple. Miroku Bosatsu (the Buddha of the Future) is colored white like the other five Buddha. PHOTO: www.toufukuji.or.jp/original7.html
Slide 41. 1553 CE. Zigzag Pattern with slight variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Graveyard memorial stone. Shideharabochi 椣原墓地,  Ikomagun Heguri chō 生駒郡平群町, Nara Prefecture, Japan. H = 173 cm. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. Also see blog.goo.ne.jp or this J-site for more photos.
Slide 41. 1553 CE. Zigzag Pattern with slight variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Graveyard memorial stone. Shideharabochi 椣原墓地, Ikomagun Heguri chō 生駒郡平群町, Nara Prefecture, Japan. H = 173 cm. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. Also see blog.goo.ne.jp or this J-site for more photos.
Slide 42. 1556 CE. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions).  Tendai temple Gokuraku-ji 極楽寺 in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. PHOTO: city.obama.fukui.jp
Slide 42. 1556 CE. Zigzag Pattern Variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Tendai temple Gokuraku-ji 極楽寺 in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. PHOTO: city.obama.fukui.jp
Slide 43. 1590 CE. Zigzag Pattern with slight variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions).  Shōbō-ji Temple 正法寺, Neyagawa City, Osaka, Japan. Stone. H 185 cm. Next to it is a six-character Amida memorial stone. H 163 cm x W 86 cm. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. For more photos, see this J-site.
Slide 43. 1590 CE. Zigzag Pattern with slight variation. Standard Grouping. Variation = Dainichi is located directly below Kokūzō (i.e., Dainichi and Ashuku have swapped positions). Shōbō-ji Temple 正法寺, Neyagawa City, Osaka, Japan. Stone. H 185 cm. Next to it is a six-character Amida memorial stone. H 163 cm x W 86 cm. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. For more photos, see this J-site.
Slide 44. 1. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Ōtsu City Museum of History 大津市歴史博物館. 
2. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Machida City Museum, Tokyo  町田市立博物館蔵
3. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Momose Osamu 百瀬治氏 Collection, HiHuMi Art.
4. Learn more about Ōtsu-e at JAANUS.
Slide 44.
1. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Ōtsu City Museum of History 大津市歴史博物館. 2. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Machida City Museum, Tokyo 町田市立博物館蔵 3. Ōtsu-e, Edo era. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: Momose Osamu 百瀬治氏 Collection, HiHuMi Art. 4. Learn more about Ōtsu-e at JAANUS.
Slide 45. Linear Pattern, Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan.
Slide 46. Kamakura Era. Linear Pattern. Standard Grouping. Jūrin-in Temple 十輪院, Nara, Japan. Jūrin-in is a Shingon temple founded in the Kamakura period. Known as a funerary temple. PHOTOS: jurin-in.com; f For the more believable reproduction, see this J-site.
Slide 46. Kamakura Era. Linear Pattern. Standard Grouping. Jūrin-in Temple 十輪院, Nara, Japan. Jūrin-in is a Shingon temple founded in the Kamakura period. Known as a funerary temple. PHOTOS: jurin-in.com; f For the more believable reproduction, see this J-site.
Slide 47. 1414 CE. Reverse Linear Pattern. Standard Grouping. Baiyū-ji Temple 梅遊寺, Bungotagada City 豊後高田市, Ōita, Japan. H = 119 cm, W = 70 cm. Top-down linear pattern, starting with Fudō in top right corner. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. His site catalogs hundreds of memorial tablets.
Slide 47. 1414 CE. Reverse Linear Pattern. Standard Grouping. Baiyū-ji Temple 梅遊寺, Bungotagada City 豊後高田市, Ōita, Japan. H = 119 cm, W = 70 cm. Top-down linear pattern, starting with Fudō in top right corner. PHOTO: Kawai Tetsuo 河合哲雄. His site catalogs hundreds of memorial tablets.
Slide 48. 1515 CE, Linear Pattern, Standard Grouping. Saitama Prefecture Museum of History & Folklore, Japan. PHOTO: city.kuki.lg.jp
Slide 48. 1515 CE, Linear Pattern, Standard Grouping. Saitama Prefecture Museum of History & Folklore, Japan. PHOTO: city.kuki.lg.jp
Slide 49. Denominational Patterns of Japan's Thirteen Buddhist Deities. Amida (Pure Land), Dainichi (Shingon / Tendai) or Shaka (Zen) are portrayed larger than the others; or positioned in the center of the painting.
Slide 50. 15th century. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Los  Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). A type of Raigō-zu 来迎図 (welcoming descent) painting of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan. Amida at center, larger than the others. Followers of Pure Land Buddhism believe that upon death, Amida and retinue will descend from Amida’s Western Pure Land 西方極楽浄土 to earth to welcome and escort the devotee back to Amida’s Paradise. Here the Raigō format is used to portray the Thirteen Buddhist Deities descending with Amida. Three triads are still intact despite the unusual positionings (Dainichi triad, Shaka triad, and Amida triad). PHOTO: LACMA.
Slide 50. 15th century. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). A type of Raigō-zu 来迎図 (welcoming descent) painting of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities of Japan. Amida at center, larger than the others. Followers of Pure Land Buddhism believe that upon death, Amida and retinue will descend from Amida’s Western Pure Land 西方極楽浄土 to earth to welcome and escort the devotee back to Amida’s Paradise. Here the Raigō format is used to portray the Thirteen Buddhist Deities descending with Amida. Three triads are still intact despite the unusual positionings (Dainichi triad, Shaka triad, and Amida triad). PHOTO: LACMA.
Slide 51. Late Edo era perhaps, but no date given by source. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Welcoming-Descent Style (Raigō-zu 来迎図). Size (painting only) = H 92.5 cm X W 47.2 cm. PHOTO: auctions.yahoo.co.jp. Sadly, the prior link no longer functions, as the piece was sold and the online page deleted. However, searching Yahoo Auctions for 十三仏 yields other interesting images of the thirteen.
Slide 51. Late Edo era perhaps, but no date given by source. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Welcoming-Descent Style (Raigō-zu 来迎図). Size (painting only) = H 92.5 cm X W 47.2 cm. PHOTO: auctions.yahoo.co.jp. Sadly, the prior link no longer functions, as the piece was sold and the online page deleted. However, searching Yahoo Auctions for 十三仏 yields other interesting images of the thirteen.
Slide 52. Modern. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Welcoming-Descent format (Raigō-zu 来迎図). Includes theme of 25 Bodhisattvas (Nijūgo Bosatsu 二十五菩薩). PHOTO: oparaq.com
Slide 52. Modern. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Welcoming-Descent format (Raigō-zu 来迎図). Includes theme of 25 Bodhisattvas (Nijūgo Bosatsu 二十五菩薩). PHOTO: oparaq.com
Slide 53. Edo era. Dainichi / Shingon Style. Standard Grouping. Mandala-type configuration. This is an OFUDA 御札 (votive slip of paper distributed by temples as charms or talismans). Kōbō Daishi (founder of Japan's Shingon school) at bottom. Dainichi appears larger than the others. Temple art (no location or date given); probably Edo era. PHOTO: this J-site
Slide 53. Edo era. Dainichi / Shingon Style. Standard Grouping. Mandala-type configuration. This is an OFUDA 御札 (votive slip of paper distributed by temples as charms or talismans). Kōbō Daishi (founder of Japan's Shingon school) at bottom. Dainichi appears larger than the others. Temple art (no location or date given); probably Edo era. PHOTO: this J-site
Slide 54. Modern. Dainichi / Shingon Style. Standard Grouping. Dainichi in center. Kōbō Daishi (founder of Japanese Shingon) appears at bottom. The Five Buddha plus Miroku clustered at center. PHOTO: ankado.jp/SHOP
Slide 54. Modern. Dainichi / Shingon Style. Standard Grouping. Dainichi in center. Kōbō Daishi (founder of Japanese Shingon) appears at bottom. The Five Buddha plus Miroku clustered at center. PHOTO: ankado.jp/SHOP
Slide 55. Modern. Shingon Style & Zen Style. Standard Grouping. PHOTOS: Shingon Butsugan // Zen Butsugan // Kongōbu-ji Treasure.
Slide 55. Modern. Shingon Style & Zen Style. Standard Grouping. PHOTOS: Shingon Butsugan // Zen Butsugan // Kongōbu-ji Treasure.
Slide 56. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at bottom-row center. Next to Shaka are Monju and Fugen; the trio form a Shaka Triad, just as Amida, Seishi and Kannon form an Amida Triad, and Kokūzō, Dainichi and Ashuku form an Esoteric Triad. PHOTO: Rakuten
Slide 56. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at bottom-row center. Next to Shaka are Monju and Fugen; the trio form a Shaka Triad, just as Amida, Seishi and Kannon form an Amida Triad, and Kokūzō, Dainichi and Ashuku form an Esoteric Triad. PHOTO: Rakuten
Slide 57. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at center. Dimensions unknown. PHOTO: Taihou. View more art here.
Slide 57. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at center. Dimensions unknown. PHOTO: Taihou. View more art here.
Slide 58. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at bottom, larger than the others. Scroll of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities hung in front of the family altar during the July / August Obon お盆 period. PHOTO: d.hatena.ne.jp.
Slide 58. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Shaka at bottom, larger than the others. Scroll of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities hung in front of the family altar during the July / August Obon お盆 period. PHOTO: d.hatena.ne.jp.
Slide 59. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Piece for the family altar (butsudan 仏壇). H = 18 cm. Used during Obon お盆 and other special times when praying for one's ancestors or living relatives or oneself. In this piece, Shaka Buddha is portrayed larger than the others. PHOTOS: butuzou-world-shop.com
Slide 59. Modern. Shaka / Zen Style. Standard Grouping. Piece for the family altar (butsudan 仏壇). H = 18 cm. Used during Obon お盆 and other special times when praying for one's ancestors or living relatives or oneself. In this piece, Shaka Buddha is portrayed larger than the others. PHOTOS: butuzou-world-shop.com
Slide 60. 1783 CE. Thirteen Buddhist Deities as they appear in the Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 71 & 72). The images include their names, their positioning from one through thirteen, and their judgement timeframe. No mention is made of their association with the Ten Kings of Hell -- the Judges of the Underworld – who have disappeared entirely (see Slides 4 ~ 13 for more on the Ten Kings). The 1783 Butsuzō-zui includes two pages (frames 60 & 61) devoted to the Ten Judges of the Underworld, in which their honji (Buddhist counterparts) are listed. Above English translations and numbers by Schumacher.
Slide 60. 1783 CE. Thirteen Buddhist Deities as they appear in the Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 71 & 72). The images include their names, their positioning from one through thirteen, and their judgement timeframe. No mention is made of their association with the Ten Kings of Hell -- the Judges of the Underworld – who have disappeared entirely (see Slides 4 ~ 13 for more on the Ten Kings). The 1783 Butsuzō-zui includes two pages (frames 60 & 61) devoted to the Ten Judges of the Underworld, in which their honji (Buddhist counterparts) are listed. Above English translations and numbers by Schumacher.
Slide 61. 1783 CE. Secret Buddhist Deities of the 30 Days of the Month 三十日秘仏, 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). The Butsuzō-zu-i  was first published in 1690. Both the 1690 and 1783 versions include this grouping of thirty, with twelve of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities appearing in both. Only Fudō is missing. What is curious is that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as an independent group DO NOT APPEAR in the 1690 version -- only in the 1783 version. This suggests that the 13-deity grouping had not yet become popular. Did the development of the 30-deity grouping serve as the basis for the 13-deity group? There is much overlap in the dates chosen for their worship. Which group came first? Did they develop in tandem? PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 37 ~ 42). For standard pairings with the kings of hell, judgement timeframes, and postmortem / premortem rites, see Slide 3.
Slide 61. 1783 CE. Secret Buddhist Deities of the 30 Days of the Month 三十日秘仏, 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). The Butsuzō-zu-i was first published in 1690. Both the 1690 and 1783 versions include this grouping of thirty, with twelve of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities appearing in both. Only Fudō is missing. What is curious is that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities as an independent group DO NOT APPEAR in the 1690 version -- only in the 1783 version. This suggests that the 13-deity grouping had not yet become popular. Did the development of the 30-deity grouping serve as the basis for the 13-deity group? There is much overlap in the dates chosen for their worship. Which group came first? Did they develop in tandem? PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 37 ~ 42). For standard pairings with the kings of hell, judgement timeframes, and postmortem / premortem rites, see Slide 3.
Slide 62. 1783 CE. Sanjūbanshin, Thirty Kami Tutelaries of the 30 Days of the Month 三十番神, from the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). The Butsuzō-zu-i  was first published in 1690. Both the 1690 and 1783 versions include this grouping of thirty kami, with ten of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities appearing as honji in both. Only Ashuku, Miroku, and Monju are missing. What is curious is that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities DO NOT APPEAR in the 1690 version -- only in the later 1783 version. This suggests that the 13-deity grouping had not yet become a popular grouping. Did the development of the Sanjūbanshin influence the development of Thirteen Buddhist Deities? There is great overlap in the dates chosen for their worship. Which group came first, or did they develop in tandem? PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 37 ~ 42).
Slide 62. 1783 CE. Sanjūbanshin, Thirty Kami Tutelaries of the 30 Days of the Month 三十番神, from the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images). The Butsuzō-zu-i was first published in 1690. Both the 1690 and 1783 versions include this grouping of thirty kami, with ten of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities appearing as honji in both. Only Ashuku, Miroku, and Monju are missing. What is curious is that the Thirteen Buddhist Deities DO NOT APPEAR in the 1690 version -- only in the later 1783 version. This suggests that the 13-deity grouping had not yet become a popular grouping. Did the development of the Sanjūbanshin influence the development of Thirteen Buddhist Deities? There is great overlap in the dates chosen for their worship. Which group came first, or did they develop in tandem? PHOTO: View digitized version (frames 37 ~ 42).
Slide 63. Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac, known as the Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊. In my private garden, Kamakura, early 20th century. This grouping of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙, and is an Edo-era grouping that reportedly sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities (for it includes eight of the thirteen). These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. Among the eight, four guard the four cardinal directions while the other four guard the four semi-directions (the latter four are each associated with two animals, thus covering all 12 zodiac creatures). PHOTO: View digitized version (frame 70) of the eight in the 1783 Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙. For standard pairings with the kings of hell, judgement timeframes, and postmortem / premortem rites, see Slide 3.
Slide 63. Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac, known as the Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊. In my private garden, Kamakura, early 20th century. This grouping of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙, and is an Edo-era grouping that reportedly sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities (for it includes eight of the thirteen). These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. Among the eight, four guard the four cardinal directions while the other four guard the four semi-directions (the latter four are each associated with two animals, thus covering all 12 zodiac creatures). PHOTO: View digitized version (frame 70) of the eight in the 1783 Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙. For standard pairings with the kings of hell, judgement timeframes, and postmortem / premortem rites, see Slide 3.
Slide 64. Modern-day flyer for the Yamato Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities 大和十三仏霊場, Nara. This pilgrimage was established in 1982. Standard Grouping. Here we see the Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac (Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊). This group of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (frame 70) and is an Edo-era grouping that sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities (for it includes eight of the thirteen). These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. Among the eight, four guard the four cardinal directions while four others guard the four semi-directions (the latter four are each associated with two animals, thus covering all 12 zodiac creatures). SOURCES: Flyer Image /// Site List /// Date Established.
Slide 64. Modern-day flyer for the Yamato Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities 大和十三仏霊場, Nara. This pilgrimage was established in 1982. Standard Grouping. Here we see the Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac (Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊). This group of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (frame 70) and is an Edo-era grouping that sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities (for it includes eight of the thirteen). These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. Among the eight, four guard the four cardinal directions while four others guard the four semi-directions (the latter four are each associated with two animals, thus covering all 12 zodiac creatures). SOURCES: Flyer Image /// Site List /// Date Established.
Slide 65. Extant Artwork Outside Japan. This visual guide was inspired by a posting on the JAHF (Japan Art History Forum). This guide, befittingly, is dedicated to all the museum curators, art historians, art collectors, scholars, students, and others who are JAHF members.
Slide 65. Extant Artwork Outside Japan. This visual guide was inspired by a posting on the JAHF (Japan Art History Forum). This guide, befittingly, is dedicated to all the museum curators, art historians, art collectors, scholars, students, and others who are JAHF members.
Slide 66. Sue Cassidy Clark, Private Collection. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Muromachi Era (1337 - 1573). PHOTO: Mark Schumacher.
Slide 66. Sue Cassidy Clark, Private Collection. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Muromachi Era (1337 - 1573). PHOTO: Mark Schumacher.
Slide 67. 16th-century painting. PHOTO: Mary Griggs Burke Collection, donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation in 2015. Also see Art through a Lifetime.
Slide 67. 16th-century painting. PHOTO: Mary Griggs Burke Collection, donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation in 2015. Also see Art through a Lifetime.
Slide 68. LACMA 15th century. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A type of Raigō-zu 来迎図 (welcoming descent) painting of the thirteen. Amida at center, larger than the others. PHOTO: LACMA. This slide appeared earlier in the Denominational Pattern section (Slide 50).
Slide 68. LACMA 15th century. Pure Land Style. Standard Grouping. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A type of Raigō-zu 来迎図 (welcoming descent) painting of the thirteen. Amida at center, larger than the others. PHOTO: LACMA. This slide appeared earlier in the Denominational Pattern section (Slide 50).
Slide 69. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Oregon. Nanboku-chō era. Cartouche Style. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO OF THE THIRTEEN: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. PHOTO OF THE TEN KINGS: Korean painting, Edo era, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
Slide 69. Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Oregon. Nanboku-chō era. Cartouche Style. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO OF THE THIRTEEN: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. PHOTO OF THE TEN KINGS: Korean painting, Edo era, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
Slide 70. British Museum. 17th Century. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: britishmuseum.org. More photos here.
Slide 70. British Museum. 17th Century. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: britishmuseum.org. More photos here.
Slide 71. British Museum. 19th century. Zigzag Pattern. Hand-colored woodblock print, mounted as hanging scroll. PHOTO: britishmuseum.org.
Slide 71. British Museum. 19th century. Zigzag Pattern. Hand-colored woodblock print, mounted as hanging scroll. PHOTO: britishmuseum.org.
Slide 72. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas.  Cartouche Style. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Muromachi era (1337 - 1573). PHOTO: Patricia Graham.
Slide 72. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas. Cartouche Style. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Muromachi era (1337 - 1573). PHOTO: Patricia Graham.
Slide 73. MFA Boston. Late 17th century. Zigzag Pattern. Woodblock/stencil print; ink on paper, with stenciled color. PHOTO: mfa.org.
Slide 73. MFA Boston. Late 17th century. Zigzag Pattern. Woodblock/stencil print; ink on paper, with stenciled color. PHOTO: mfa.org.
Slide 74. Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii. Muromachi era (1337 - 1573). Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Hand-colored woodblock print. PHOTO: honolulumuseum.org
Slide 74. Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii. Muromachi era (1337 - 1573). Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. Hand-colored woodblock print. PHOTO: honolulumuseum.org
Slide 75. Honolulu Museum of Art. Muromachi era. Zigzag Pattern. Hand-colored woodblock print of the thirteen Buddhist deities. PHOTO: honolulumuseum.org
Slide 75. Honolulu Museum of Art. Muromachi era. Zigzag Pattern. Hand-colored woodblock print of the thirteen Buddhist deities. PHOTO: honolulumuseum.org
Slide 76. Ōtsu-e, 17th century. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). PHOTO: metmuseum.org
Slide 76. Ōtsu-e, 17th century. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). PHOTO: metmuseum.org
Slide 77. Ōtsu-e, Modern. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. By Shiga-based artist Ichiren 一蓮. PHOTO: d.hatena.ne.jp. To learn more about Ichiren, click here.
Slide 77. Ōtsu-e, Modern. Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. By Shiga-based artist Ichiren 一蓮. PHOTO: d.hatena.ne.jp. To learn more about Ichiren, click here.
Slide 78. Modern Ōtsu-e merchandise, available at the Ōtsu-e estore. PHOTOS: Framed Version ||  Scroll Version  ||  Kokūzō Cell-Phone Strap
Slide 78. Modern Ōtsu-e merchandise, available at the Ōtsu-e estore. PHOTOS: Framed Version || Scroll Version || Kokūzō Cell-Phone Strap
Slide 79. Modern-day flyer for the Yamato Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities 大和十三仏霊場, Nara. This pilgrimage was established in 1982. Standard Grouping. Eight of the thirteen are also known as the Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac (Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊). This group of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (frame 70). It is an Edo-era grouping that sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. PHOTOS: Flyer Image /// Site List /// Date Established. Also see Slides 63~64 herein.
Slide 79. Modern-day flyer for the Yamato Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities 大和十三仏霊場, Nara. This pilgrimage was established in 1982. Standard Grouping. Eight of the thirteen are also known as the Eight Buddhist Guardians of the Zodiac (Ichidai Mamori Honzon 一代守本尊). This group of eight appears in the 1783 version of the Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙 (frame 70). It is an Edo-era grouping that sprang from the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. These eight Buddhist deities are associated with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Each deity is associated with a specific Zodiac animal and serves as the protector (guardian, patron) for all people born in that animal year. PHOTOS: Flyer Image /// Site List /// Date Established. Also see Slides 63~64 herein.
Slide 80. Modern. Kyoto Pilgrimage to Thirteen Buddhist Deities 京都十三佛霊場会 (see here). Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: This J-site.
Slide 80. Modern. Kyoto Pilgrimage to Thirteen Buddhist Deities 京都十三佛霊場会 (see here). Zigzag Pattern. Standard Grouping. PHOTO: This J-site.
Slide 81. Kakuon-ji Temple 覚園寺, Kamakura. Kakuon-ji Temple is the 11th site on the Kamakura Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. Inside the compound, there is a cave with stone carvings of the thirteen (date unknown; probably 20th century). PHOTO by Schumacher. To learn more about this pilgrimage, see this Japanese site.
Slide 81. Kakuon-ji Temple 覚園寺, Kamakura. Kakuon-ji Temple is the 11th site on the Kamakura Pilgrimage to the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. Inside the compound, there is a cave with stone carvings of the thirteen (date unknown; probably 20th century). PHOTO by Schumacher. To learn more about this pilgrimage, see this Japanese site.
Slide 82. This visual guide is open access, which means it is free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or use for any other lawful purposes. The only constraints are (1) I retain the copyright and must be properly cited whenever this guide is reproduced or distributed and (2) the user may not change the work inany way. When viewing the slideshow, make sure to periodically "refresh" your browser to ensure slides appear at their largest size. To refresh, press Ctrl-F5 on a PC. Press Command-R on a Mac. Evans-Wentz, W.Y. (translator). 1927. Tibetan Book of the Dead. Commonly dated to the 8th century CE.Glassman, Hank. 2012. The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese Buddhism. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press.Hiraswa, Caroline. 2008. The Inflatable, Collapsible Kingdom of Retribution. A Primer on Japanese Hell Imagery and Imagination. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 63, No.へぎヴぇ 1 (Spring, 2008). Hutchins, Steven. 2015. The 13 Buddhas: Tracing the Roots of the Thirteen Buddha Rites. Kawai Tetsuo  河合哲雄. He catalogs hundreds of memorial stones at 13 Buddhist Deities and at Stone Buddhist Statues.Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsannbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111. Mack, Karen. 2000. Notes on an article by Ueshima Motoyuki about the Thirteen Buddhist Deities. McCormick, Melissa. 2009. Tosa Mitsunobu and the Small Scroll in Medieval Japan. See chapter two for a discussion of how paintings of the thirteen were used in the early 16th century.Miyasaka Yūkō 宮坂宥洪. 2011. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no igi 十三仏信仰の意義 (Significance of Jūsanbutsu Faith). Gendai Mikkyō, no 23 現代密教第23号目次. Ogurisu Kenji 小栗栖健治. 1991. Jūsanbutsu zu ni tsuite: jigoku e o egaku sakurei  十三仏図について-地獄絵を描く作例 (Concerning Jūsanbutsu Paintings: Examples of Hell Depictions) Shikai: Hyōgo kenritsu rekishi hakubutsukan kiyō, jinkai 3, pp. 29-47, March 1991.Payne, Richard. 1999. Shingon Services for the Dead in Religions of Japan in Practice, pp. 159-165.Phillips, Quitman. 2003. Narrating the Salvation of the Elite: The Jōfukuji Paintings of the Ten Kings. Ars Orientalis, Vol. 33, pp. 120-145. Picken, Stuart D.B. 2016. Parallel Worlds: Folk Religion, Life & Death in Japan. A serialised monograph on “Death in the Japanese Tradition: A Study in Cultural Evolution and Transformation.“Shimizu Kunihiko 清水邦彦. 2002. Jizō jūōkyō kō 地蔵十王経考 (Reflections on the Scripture of Jizō and the Ten Kings).  Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 51 (1) pp. 189-194. Somegawa Eisuke 染川英輔. 1993. Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典. Published by Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. (Illustrated Dictionary of Japan’s Dual World Mandala). Stone, Jacqueline and Walter, Mariko Namba, editors. 2008. Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1990. Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai  十三仏図の 成立について : 十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開  (Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Honored Ones), pp. 22-24. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990).Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1994. Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として (Reconsideration on Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Art of Thirteen Buddhas). Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1997. Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として (Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka). Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. Teiser, Stephen. 1994. The Scripture on the Ten Kings and the Making of Purgatory in Medieval Chinese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Tibetan Book of the Dead. 8th century. See “Evans-Wentz” above.Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行. 1971. Jūsanbutsu seiritsu e no tennkai 十三仏成立への展開 (How the Thirteen Buddhas Came into Existence). Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 94, pp. 14-18.Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行. 1975. Jūsanbutsu ni tsuite 十三仏について(上) & 十三仏について(下), Concerning 13 Buddha. Kanazawa Bunko Research 金澤文庫研究, No. 234 (Nov. 1975) and No. 235 (Dec. 1975). He gives 4 theories on group's origin that credit Tendai monk Ennin 圓仁 (794-864), Shingon monk Myōe 明慧 (1173-1232), Zen monk Monkan 文観(1278-1357), or Shingon monk Manbei 満米 (early Heian).Wakabayashi Haruko 若林晴子. 2009. Officials of the Afterworld: Ono no Takamura and the Ten Kings of Hell, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 36/2: pp. 319-342. Watanabe Shōgo 渡辺章悟. 1989. Tsuizen kuyō no Hotokesama Jūsanbutsu Shinkō 追善供養の仏さま十三仏信仰 (The Buddhas of Memorial Services: Jūsanbutsu Faith). Hokushindō. Watarai Zuiken 渡会瑞顕, editor. 2012. Jūsanbutsu no sekai tsuizenkuyō no rekishi・shisō・bunka 十三仏の世界— 追善供養の歴史・思想・文化 (Realm of 13 Buddhas: History, Thought, Culture). Nonburusha.Williams, Duncan Ryūken. 2008. Funerary Zen: Sōtō Zen Death Management in Tokugawa Japan, in Stone and Walter 2008, pp. 207-246.Yajima Arata 矢島新. 1990. Gunma-ken ka no butsuga kara: Numatashi Shōkakuzō Jūōzu to Jyūsanbutsu Seiritsu no Mondai  群馬県下の仏面から: 沼田市正覚寺蔵十王図と十三仏成立の問題 (Ten Kings'  Art and the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Shōgaku-ji Temple, Numata City). Bulletin of Gunma Prefectural Women’s College 群馬県立女子大学紀要,  No. 10,  pp.63-73.
Slide 82. Open AccessThis visual guide is open access, which means it is free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or use for any other lawful purposes. The only constraints are (1) I retain the copyright and must be properly cited whenever this guide is reproduced or distributed and (2) the user may not change the work in any way. When viewing the slideshow, make sure to periodically "refresh" your browser to ensure slides appear at their largest size. To refresh, press Ctrl-F5 on a PC. Press Command-R on a Mac.
  1. Evans-Wentz, W.Y. (translator). 1927. Tibetan Book of the DeadCommonly dated to the 8th century CE.
  2. Gerhart, Karen. 2009. The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan. (pp. 19-26). Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press. 
  3. Glassman, Hank. 2012. The Face of Jizō: Image and Cult in Medieval Japanese BuddhismHonolulu, University of Hawaii Press.
  4. Hiraswa, Caroline. 2008. The Inflatable, Collapsible Kingdom of Retribution. A Primer on Japanese Hell Imagery and Imagination. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 63, No.へぎヴぇ 1 (Spring, 2008). 
  5. Hutchins, Steven. 2015. The 13 Buddhas: Tracing the Roots of the Thirteen Buddha Rites.
  6. Kawai Tetsuo  河合哲雄. He catalogs hundreds of memorial stones at 13 Buddhist Deities and at Stone Buddhist Statues.
  7. Kawakatsu Seitarō  川勝政太郎. 1969. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no shiteki tenkai  十三仏信仰の史的展開 (Evolution of Jūsannbutsu Faith), Journal of Ōtemae College 大手前女子大学論集, no. 03, pp. 94-111. 
  8. Mack, Karen. 2000. Notes on an article by Ueshima Motoyuki about the Thirteen Buddhist Deities.
  9. McCormick, Melissa. 2009. Tosa Mitsunobu and the Small Scroll in Medieval Japan. See chapter two for a discussion of how paintings of the thirteen were used in the early 16th century.
  10. Miyasaka Yūkō 宮坂宥洪. 2011. Jūsanbutsu shinkō no igi 十三仏信仰の意義 (Significance of Jūsanbutsu Faith). Gendai Mikkyō, no 23 現代密教第23号目次. 
  11. Ogurisu Kenji 小栗栖健治. 1991. Jūsanbutsu zu ni tsuite: jigoku e o egaku sakurei  十三仏図について-地獄絵を描く作例 (Concerning Jūsanbutsu Paintings: Examples of Hell Depictions) Shikai: Hyōgo kenritsu rekishi hakubutsukan kiyō, jinkai 3, pp. 29-47, March 1991.
  12. Payne, Richard. 1999. Shingon Services for the Dead in Religions of Japan in Practice, pp. 159-165.
  13. Phillips, Quitman. 2003. Narrating the Salvation of the Elite: The Jōfukuji Paintings of the Ten Kings. Ars Orientalis, Vol. 33, pp. 120-145. 
  14. Picken, Stuart D.B. 2016. Parallel Worlds: Folk Religion, Life & Death in Japan. A serialised monograph on “Death in the Japanese Tradition: A Study in Cultural Evolution and Transformation.“
  15. Shimizu Kunihiko 清水邦彦. 2002. Jizō jūōkyō kō 地蔵十王経考 (Reflections on the Scripture of Jizō and the Ten Kings).  Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 51 (1) pp. 189-194. 
  16. Somegawa Eisuke 染川英輔. 1993. Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典. Published by Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. (Illustrated Dictionary of Japan’s Dual World Mandala). 
  17. Stone, Jacqueline and Walter, Mariko Namba, editors. 2008. Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. 
  18. Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1990. Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu ni tsuite: Jūichison mandara zu kara no tenkai  十三仏図の 成立について : 十一尊曼荼羅図からの展開  (Concerning the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Their Development from the Mandala of Eleven Honored Ones), pp. 22-24. Mikkyō Bunka 169 (Feb. 1990).
  19. Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1994. Jūsanbutsu zu no seiritsu saikō: Okayama, Kiyamaji zō jūō jū honjibutsu zu o chūshin to shite 十三仏図の成立再考: 岡山・木山寺蔵十王十本地仏図を中心として (Reconsideration on Genesis of Jūsanbutsu Art of Thirteen Buddhas). Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 188, pp. 29-60. 
  20. Takeda Kazuaki 武田和昭. 1997. Yoshujūō shōshichikyō no zuzōteki tenkai: Ōsaka Hirokawadera zō Jūō kyō hensōzu o chūshin to shite 預修十王生七経の図像的展開: 大阪・弘川寺蔵十王経変相図を中心として (Iconographic Development of the Ten Kings’ Sūtra: Centering on the Illustrated Ten-Kings’ Sūtra Paintings of Hirokawa-dera in Osaka). Published by Museum 547, pp. 5-27. 
  21. Teiser, Stephen. 1994. The Scripture on the Ten Kings and the Making of Purgatory in Medieval Chinese Buddhism. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 
  22. Tibetan Book of the Dead. 8th century. See “Evans-Wentz” above.
  23. Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行. 1971. Jūsanbutsu seiritsu e no tennkai 十三仏成立への展開 (How the Thirteen Buddhas Came into Existence). Published by Mikkyō Bunka 密教文化 94, pp. 14-18.
  24. Ueshima Motoyuki 植島基行. 1975. Jūsanbutsu ni tsuite 十三仏について(上) & 十三仏について(下), Concerning 13 Buddha. Kanazawa Bunko Research 金澤文庫研究, No. 234 (Nov. 1975) and No. 235 (Dec. 1975). He gives 4 theories on group's origin that credit Tendai monk Ennin 圓仁 (794-864), Shingon monk Myōe 明慧 (1173-1232), Zen monk Monkan 文観 (1278-1357), or Shingon monk Manbei 満米 (early Heian).
  25. Wakabayashi Haruko 若林晴子. 2009. Officials of the Afterworld: Ono no Takamura and the Ten Kings of Hell, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 36/2: pp. 319-342. 
  26. Watanabe Shōgo 渡辺章悟. 1989. Tsuizen kuyō no Hotokesama Jūsanbutsu Shinkō 追善供養の仏さま十三仏信仰 (The Buddhas of Memorial Services: Jūsanbutsu Faith). Hokushindō. 
  27. Watarai Zuiken 渡会瑞顕, editor. 2012. Jūsanbutsu no sekai tsuizenkuyō no rekishi・shisō・bunka 十三仏の世界— 追善供養の歴史・思想・文化 (Realm of 13 Buddhas: History, Thought, Culture). Nonburusha.
  28. Williams, Duncan Ryūken. 2008. Funerary Zen: Sōtō Zen Death Management in Tokugawa Japan, in Stone and Walter 2008, pp. 207-246.
  29. Yajima Arata 矢島新. 1990. Gunma-ken ka no butsuga kara: Numatashi Shōkakuzō Jūōzu to Jyūsanbutsu Seiritsu no Mondai  群馬県下の仏面から: 沼田市正覚寺蔵十王図と十三仏成立の問題 (Ten Kings'  Art and the Origins of the Thirteen Buddhist Deities: Shōgaku-ji Temple, Numata City). Bulletin of Gunma Prefectural Women’s College 群馬県立女子大学紀要,  No. 10,  pp.63-73.




Slide 83. MANTRAS FOR ALL THIRTEENSource: http://ameblo.jp/mangetsusai-anex/entry-11148505960.htmlSlide 83. MERITS OF WORSHIPPING THE THIRTEENSource: http://www.chisan.or.jp/chisanha/answer/初七日 不動明王 正月十六日 酉年守護のうまくさんまんだ ばざらだん せんだん まかろしゃだ そわたや うんたらたかんまん二七日 釈迦如来 二月二十九日のうまくさんまんだ ぼだなん ばく三七日 文殊菩薩 三月二十五日 卯年守護おん あらはしゃのう四七日 普賢菩薩 四月十四日 辰巳年守護おん さんまや さとばん五七日 地蔵菩薩 五月二十四日おん かかか びさんまえい そわか六七日 弥勒菩薩 六月十五日おん ばいたれいや そわか四十九日 薬師如来 七月八日おん ころころ せんだり まとうぎ そわか百か日 観世音菩薩 八月十八日おん あろりきゃ そわか一周忌 勢至菩薩 九月二十三日 午年守護おん さん ざん さく そわか三回忌 阿弥陀如来 十月十五日 戌亥年守護おん あみりた ていぜい からうん七回忌 阿閦如来 十一月十五日おん あきしゅびや うん十三回忌 大日如来 十一月二十八日 未申年守護おん あびらうんけん ばざらだどばん三十三回忌 虚空蔵菩薩 十二月十三日 丑寅年守護のうぼう あかしゃ ぎゃらばや おん ありきやまりぼり そわ初七日忌 - 不動明王功徳-煩悩を焼き尽くし、迷いを断ち切り、信心を定めて強い力で導いてくれます二七日忌 - 釈迦如来功徳-説法によって煩悩や邪見(誤った信仰や考え方)を破り、正しい信仰に導いてくれます三七日忌 - 文殊菩薩功徳-分けへだてする愚かさを断ち、物事を正しく判断する智慧を授けてくれます四七日忌 - 普賢菩薩功徳-悟りを求める清らかな心、そして悟りをめざした実践行に導いてくれます五七日忌 - 地蔵菩薩功徳-あらゆるものの苦しみをうけとめ、その苦しみに負けない力を授けてくれます六七日忌 - 弥勒菩薩功徳-すべてのものに対する慈しみの心を授けてくれます七七日忌 - 薬師如来功徳-心身の病苦を除き、苦しみや恐れを除いてくれます百 日 忌 - 観音菩薩功徳-世の中を広く観察し、すべての苦しみを除く、深い思いやりの心を授けてくれます一 周 忌 - 勢至菩薩功徳-我欲、執着を滅し、とらわれを除く心を授けてくれます三 回 忌 - 阿弥陀如来功徳-生死を離れた、安らかなる心を授けてくれます七 回 忌 - 阿閦如来功徳-何ごとにも揺らがない心と、怒りを離れた安らかなる心を授けてくれます十三回忌 - 大日如来功徳-生命の尊さを知らしめ、生まれながらにそなえている自身の清らかな心に気づかせてくれます三十三回忌 - 虚空蔵菩薩功徳-福徳と智慧を授け、生命の根源に気づかせてくれます

Slide 83. MANTRAS FOR ALL THIRTEEN
Source: http://ameblo.jp/mangetsusai-anex/entry-11148505960.html

Slide 83. MERITS OF WORSHIPPING THE THIRTEEN
Source: http://www.chisan.or.jp/chisanha/answer/

  1. 初七日 不動明王 正月十六日 酉年守護
    のうまくさんまんだ ばざらだん せんだん まかろしゃだ そわたや うんたらたかんまん
  2. 二七日 釈迦如来 二月二十九日
    のうまくさんまんだ ぼだなん ばく
  3. 三七日 文殊菩薩 三月二十五日 卯年守護
    おん あらはしゃのう
  4. 四七日 普賢菩薩 四月十四日 辰巳年守護
    おん さんまや さとばん
  5. 五七日 地蔵菩薩 五月二十四日
    おん かかか びさんまえい そわか
  6. 六七日 弥勒菩薩 六月十五日
    おん ばいたれいや そわか
  7. 四十九日 薬師如来 七月八日
    おん ころころ せんだり まとうぎ そわか
  8. 百か日 観世音菩薩 八月十八日
    おん あろりきゃ そわか
  9. 一周忌 勢至菩薩 九月二十三日 午年守護
    おん さん ざん さく そわか
  10. 三回忌 阿弥陀如来 十月十五日 戌亥年守護
    おん あみりた ていぜい からうん
  11. 七回忌 阿閦如来 十一月十五日
    おん あきしゅびや うん
  12. 十三回忌 大日如来 十一月二十八日 未申年守護
    おん あびらうんけん ばざらだどばん
  13. 三十三回忌 虚空蔵菩薩 十二月十三日 丑寅年守護
    のうぼう あかしゃ ぎゃらばや おん ありきやまりぼり そわ
  1. 初七日忌 - 不動明王
    功徳-煩悩を焼き尽くし、迷いを断ち切り、信心を定めて強い力で導いてくれます
  2. 二七日忌 - 釈迦如来
    功徳-説法によって煩悩や邪見(誤った信仰や考え方)を破り、正しい信仰に導いてくれます
  3. 三七日忌 - 文殊菩薩
    功徳-分けへだてする愚かさを断ち、物事を正しく判断する智慧を授けてくれます
  4. 四七日忌 - 普賢菩薩
    功徳-悟りを求める清らかな心、そして悟りをめざした実践行に導いてくれます
  5. 五七日忌 - 地蔵菩薩
    功徳-あらゆるものの苦しみをうけとめ、その苦しみに負けない力を授けてくれます
  6. 六七日忌 - 弥勒菩薩
    功徳-すべてのものに対する慈しみの心を授けてくれます
  7. 七七日忌 - 薬師如来
    功徳-心身の病苦を除き、苦しみや恐れを除いてくれます
  8. 百 日 忌 - 観音菩薩
    功徳-世の中を広く観察し、すべての苦しみを除く、深い思いやりの心を授けてくれます
  9. 一 周 忌 - 勢至菩薩
    功徳-我欲、執着を滅し、とらわれを除く心を授けてくれます
  10. 三 回 忌 - 阿弥陀如来
    功徳-生死を離れた、安らかなる心を授けてくれます
  11. 七 回 忌 - 阿閦如来
    功徳-何ごとにも揺らがない心と、怒りを離れた安らかなる心を授けてくれます
  12. 十三回忌 - 大日如来
    功徳-生命の尊さを知らしめ、生まれながらにそなえている自身の清らかな心に気づかせてくれます
  13. 三十三回忌 - 虚空蔵菩薩
    功徳-福徳と智慧を授け、生命の根源に気づかせてくれます

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus Slide. By Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849). This woodblock print originates from an Ehon 絵本 (Old Illustrated Japanese Books). The prints in these books are woodblock prints, similar to separately published Japanese prints called Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 (pictures of the non-eternal world). Ehon books are often stitched in accordion-folded pages. One of the most famous Japanese artists of Ehon and Ukiyo-e prints is Katsushika Hokusai. This print originates from his Hokusai Manga (Hokusai's Sketches), a collection of sketches of various subjects published from 1814 onward. For more on Japanese hell cosmology, the legends of Sai no Kawara 賽の河原 (riverbed in the netherworld), Datsueba 奪衣婆, and other hellish mythology, visit the A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Art.                  █ END OF CONDENSED VISUAL GUIDE █
Bonus Slide. By Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849). This woodblock print originates from an Ehon 絵本 (Old Illustrated Japanese Books). The prints in these books are woodblock prints, similar to separately published Japanese prints called Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 (pictures of the non-eternal world). Ehon books are often stitched in accordion-folded pages. One of the most famous Japanese artists of Ehon and Ukiyo-e prints is Katsushika Hokusai. This print originates from his Hokusai Manga (Hokusai's Sketches), a collection of sketches of various subjects published from 1814 onward. For more on Japanese hell cosmology, the legends of Sai no Kawara 賽の河原 (riverbed in the netherworld), Datsueba 奪衣婆, and other hellish mythology, visit the A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Religious Art. █ END OF CONDENSED VISUAL GUIDE █
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↓↓ QUICK LINKS TO INDIVIDUAL DEITIES & IMPORTANT HELL TOPICS ↓↓

Thirteen Buddhist Deities (十三仏)
13 Butsu of Shingon Memorial Services &
 Stages of Judgment by the Ten Kings of Hell

Thirteen Buddhist Deities (Jūsanbutsu 十三仏 or 十三佛) -- five Buddha 仏, seven Bodhisattva 菩薩, and one Myō-ō 明王 -- are important to all schools of Japanese Buddhism. They likely originated with Japan's Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism. The Thirteen are invoked at 13 postmortem memorial services held over a 33-year period by the living for the dead. They are also invoked in premortem rites by the living for the living. The Thirteen are closely associated with China's 10 Kings of Hell. Japan's Grouping of 13 appeared around the 14th century, and is considered a purely Japanese convention.

Judgement
Timeframe

Name of
Hell King

Kanji &
Hiragana
spacer

Honjibutsu
Buddhist Counterpart

1st week, 7th day
初七日

Shinkō-ō

秦広王
しんこうおう

不動明王
Fudō Myō-ō

2nd week, 14th day
一四日

Shokō-ō

初江王
しょこうおう

釈迦如来
Shaka Nyorai

3rd week, 21st day
二一日

Sōtei-ō

宋帝王
そうていおう

文殊菩薩
Monju Bosatsu

4th week, 28th day
二八日

Gokan-ō

五官王
ごかんおう

普賢菩薩
Fugen Bosatsu

5th week, 35th day
三五日

Enma-ō
Yama (Skt.)

閻魔王
えんまおう

地蔵菩薩
Jizō Bosatsu

6th week, 42nd day
四二日

Henjyō-ō

変成王
へんじょうおう

弥勒菩薩
Miroku Bosatsu

7th week, 49th day
七七日49日

Taizan-ō

泰山王
たいざんおう

薬師如来
Yakushi Nyorai

During the seven weeks following one’s death, tradition asserts that the soul wanders about in places where it used to live. On the 50th day, however, the wandering soul must go to the realm where it is sentenced (one of the six realms). The 49th day is thus the most important day, when the deceased receives his/her karmic judgment and, on the 50th day, enters the world of rebirth. A service is held to make the “passage” as favorable as possible. Prayers are thereafter offered at special intervals, and performed indefinitely starting in the 13th year. Source: Flammarion, p. 340.

100th day
百カ日

Byōdō-ō

平等王
びょうどうおう

観世音菩薩
Kannon Bosatsu

1st year
一回忌

Toshi-ō

都市王
としおう

勢至菩薩
Seishi Bosatsu

3rd year
三回忌

Gotōtenrin-ō

五道転輪王
ごどうてんりんおう

阿弥陀如来
Amida Nyorai

Three more hell kings, along with three more Buddhist deities, were added to the above ten.

7th Year
七回忌

Renjō-ō

れんじょうおう

阿閦如来
Ashuku Nyorai

13th Year
十三回忌

Bakku-ō

ばっくおう

大日如来
Dainichi Nyorai

33rd Year
三十三回忌

Jion-ō

じおんおう

虚空蔵菩薩
Kokūzō Bosatsu

NOTES

  • Group #2. Above timetable (linked to the 10 Kings of Hell) is the standard configuration, but there are other configurations used in contemporary Japan. For instance, below is another timeframe for postmortem memorial services in modern times:
     
    1. Fudō Myō-ō 不動明王 (7th day)
    2. Shaka Nyorai 釈迦 (27th day)
    3. Monju Bosatsu 文殊 (37th day)
    4. Fugen Bosatsu 普賢 (47th day)
    5. Jizō Bosatsu 地蔵 (57th day)
    6. Miroku Bosatsu 弥勒 (67th day)
    7. Yakushi Nyorai 薬師 (77th day)
    8. Kannon Bosatsu 観音 (100th day)
    9. Seishi Bosatsu 勢至 (1st anniversary)
    10. Amida Nyorai 阿弥陀 (3rd anniversary)
    11. Ashuku Nyorai 阿閦 (7th anniversary)
    12. Dainichi Nyorai 大日 (13th anniversary)
    13. Kokūzō Bosatsu 虚空蔵 (33rd anniv.)

      <Sources: JAANUS, Shingon Buddhist International Institute, Tobifudo (Shingon Temple in Tokyo), and Dr. Gabi Greve’s 13 Buddha Page.>
       
  • <Says JAANUS>: Thirteen Buddha are thought to have developed from the Chinese belief in ten kings of the underworld (Jū-ō 十王) who were regarded as manifestations of Ten Buddha (Jūbutsu 十仏), to whom three more deities were added in later times. In addition to statuary sets of the thirteen, there exist many stone tablets (itabi 板碑) portraying these deities or inscribed instead with their seed-syllables (shuji 種子). They are similarly represented in hanging scrolls that are still used today at memorial services for the dead.
     
  • <Says A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms by Soothill and Hodous: The thirteen Shingon rulers of the dead during the forty-nine days and until the thirty-third-year commemoration. The thirteen are 不動明王, 釋迦 (釈迦), 文殊, 普賢, 地藏, 彌勤, 藥師, 觀音, 勢至, 阿彌陀, 阿閦, 大日and 虛空藏; each has his place, duties, magical letter, signs, etc. Other related terms include Jūsanriki 十三力, meaning the thirteen powers or bodhisattva balas of the Pure land school: 因力, 緣力, 意力, 願力, 方力, 常力, 善力, 定力, 慧力, 多聞力, 持戒忍辱精進禪定力, 正念正觀諸通明力, and 如法調伏諸衆生力; and Jūsan shū 十三宗, translated as the Thirteen Buddhist Schools of China v. 宗派.

    Top of Page

    OVERVIEW. DAY OF GREAT IMPORTANCE. On the 35th day following death, Enma-ō (Skt. = Yama, the 5th Hell King and Lord of the Underworld, often shown holding the Wheel-of-Life in Tibetan Tanka) makes his ruling after hearing the judgments passed down by the first four kings. Offerings by living relatives are especially important on the 35th day following death, as this is the day the defendant is sentenced by Enma to one of six realms of existence -- (1) Hell; (2) Hungry Ghosts; (3) Animals; (4) Asura; (5) Human Beings; (6) the heavenly Deva realm . All six realms are stages of suffering, even the heavenly realm of the Deva, who it is said suffer from pride. The sixth judge of hell, Henjo-o, decides your placement within the realm you are sentenced (reborn) into. For example, for those to be reborn into the human realm, Henjo-o may sentence you to be reborn as a wealthy or poor person, as a peaceful or violent person. The 7th judge, Taizan-o, dictates the conditions of rebirth, such as one’s life span and one’s sex, male or female. During the seven weeks following one’s death, tradition asserts that the soul wanders about in places where it used to live. On the 50th day, however, the wandering soul must go to the realm where it was sentenced (one of the six realms). Even so, for those sentenced to the lower realms, there is a way out. Among believers of the Jōdo Pure Land sect (Amida faith), those sentenced to the realm of hell, hungry ghosts, animals (beasts), or Asura (the realm of anger) may gain salvation, but only if their living relatives hold a memorial on the 100th day following their death, and another on the first year following their death, and yet another on the third year following their death. Enma is considered the most important of the ten judges, and in artwork Enma is thus frequently placed in the center.

    At Ennoji Temple in Kamakura, one can view statues of the Excuse Jizō and the 10 Judges of Hell. Most of these statues were made in the Edo Period (1603-1868 AD). Ennoji Temple is the 8th site on the Pilgrimage to 24 Kamakura Sites Sacred to Jizo. Statues of the Ten Kings can also be seen at Engakuji Temple. The Kamakura Museum (Kamakura Kokuhokan, inside Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine) also exhibits a number of hell-related statues from Ennoji Temple.

    Shoko-oo || King Shoko
    One of the Ten Kings of Hell.
    100 centimeters tall, wood, 1251 AD
    Treasure of Enno-ji Temple, Carved by Koyu
     Now housed at Kamakura Museum (Kamakura Kokuhokan)

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    For more on Japan's hell cosmology, deities & demons,
    see SAI NO KAWARA (Riverbed of the Netherworld)
    .

    First published July 25, 2018. Copyright Mark Schumacher.