Email Site Author Mark Schumacher Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter on Buddhist Statuary spacer
Follow on Social Media
My Wordpress Buddha Statues Blog Follow Me on Facebook Follow Me on Twitter Follow Me on Google + Follow Me on LinkedIn Follow Me on Youtube Free RSS Buddha News Feed 

Japanese Buddhism, Photo Dictionary of Japan's Shinto and Buddhist DivinitiesRETURN TO TOP PAGE of Japanese Buddhist Statuary A to Z Photo Library & Dictionary of Gods, Goddesses, Shinto Kami, Creatures, and DemonsCopyright and Usage PoliciesJump to Our Online Store Selling Handcrafted Statues
top line
spacer


QUICK START
Home: What's New
Buddha's Teachings
History & Timeline
Historical Buddha
Student's Guide
Teacher's Guide

DEITY GUIDES
Who's Who
Buddha
Bodhisattva
Myo-o
Shinto Kami
Shugendo
Stars & Planets
Tenbu (Deva)

OTHER GUIDES
About Site Author
Bibliography
Buddhism in Japan
Busshi Glossary
Carving Techniques
Cycle of Suffering
Drapery/Robe Guide
Mandala Guide
Mudra Guide
Objects Guide
Pilgrimage Guide
Shinto Guide
Statues by Artist
Statues by Era
Symbols Guide
Terminology

Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.
Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.

A TO Z INDEX
3 Element Stele
3 Monkeys
4 Bosatsu
4 Celestial Emblems
4 Heavenly Kings
5 (Number Five)
5 Elements
5 Tathagata
5 Tier Pagoda
5 Wisdom Kings
6 Jizo
6 Kannon
6 Realms
6 Nara Schools
7 Lucky Gods
7 Nara Temples
8 Legions
8 Zodiac Patrons
10 Kings of Hell
12 Devas
12 Generals
12 Zodiac Animals
13 Butsu (Funerals)
28 Legions
28 Constellations
30 Buddha of Month
30 Kami of Month
33 Kannon
About the Author
Agyo
Aizen
Amano Jyaku
Amida Nyorai
Apsaras
Arakan (Rakan)
Arhat (Rakan)
Ashuku Nyorai
Asuka Era Art Tour
Asura (Ashura)
Baku (Eats Dreams)
Bamboo
Benzaiten (Benten)
Bibliography
Big Buddha
Birushana Nyorai
Bishamon-ten
Bodhisattva
Bonbori Artwork
Bosatsu Group
Bosatsu of Mercy
Bosatsu on Clouds
Buddha (Historical)
Buddha Group
Buddha Statues
Busshi (Sculptors)
Calligraphy
Celestial Emblems
Celestial Maidens
Children Patrons
Classifying
Color Red
Confucius
Contact Us
Daibutsu
Daijizaiten
Daikokuten
Dainichi Nyorai
Daruma (Zen)
Datsueba (Hell Hag)
Deva (Tenbu)
Donations
Dosojin
Dragon
Drapery (Robes)
Early Buddhism Japan
Ebisu
Eight Legions
En no Gyoja
Estores
Family Tree
Footprints of Buddha
Fox (Inari)
Fudo (Fudou) Myoo
Fugen Bosatsu
Fujin (Wind God)
Fukurokuju
Gakko & Nikko
Gardens
Gigeiten
Godai Nyorai
Goddess of Mercy
Goddesses
Gongen
Gravestones
Hachi Bushu
Hachiman
Hands (Mudra)
Hell (10 Judges)
Hell Hag (Datsueba)
Hell Scrolls
Henge
Hikyu (Lion Beast)
Holy Mountains
Ho-o (Phoenix)
Hotei
Idaten
Inari (Fox)
Ishanaten
Ishidoro (Ishidourou)
Jikokuten
Jizo Bosatsu
Jocho Busshi
Juni Shi
Juni Shinsho
Juni Ten
Junrei (Pilgrimage)
Jurojin
Juuzenji
Jyaki or Tentoki
Kaikei Busshi
Kamakura Buddhism
Kankiten
Kannon Bosatsu
Kappa
Kariteimo (Kishibojin)
Karura
Karyoubinga
Kendatsuba
Kichijouten
Kitchen Gods
Kishibojin (Kariteimo)
Kitsune (Oinari)
Kokuzo Bosatsu
Koujin (Kojin)
Komokuten
Korean Buddhism
Koushin
Lanterns (Stone)
Links
Magatama
Making Statues
Mandara (Mandala)
Maneki Neko
Marishiten (Marici)
Miroku Bosatsu
Monju Bosatsu
Monkeys
Moon Lodges
Mother Goddess
Mudra (Hands)
Myoken (Pole Star)
Myo-o
Nara Era Art Tour
Newsletter Sign Up
Nijuhachi Bushu
Nikko & Gakko
Ninpinin
Nio Protectors
Nyorai Group
Objects & Symbols
Onigawara
Phoenix (Ho-o)
Pilgrimage Guide
Pottery
Protective Stones
Raigo Triad
Raijin (Thunder God)
Rakan (Arhat)
Red Clothing
Reincarnation
Robes (Drapery)
Rock Gardens
Sanbo Kojin
Sanno Gongen
Sarutahiko
Sculptors (Busshi)
Seishi Bosatsu
Sendan Kendatsuba
Seven Lucky Gods
Shachi, Shachihoko
Shaka Nyorai
Shape Shifters
Shichifukujin
Shijin (Shishin)
Shinra Myoujin
Shinto Clergy
Shinto Concepts
Shinto Kami
Shinto Main Menu
Shinto Sects
Shinto Shrines
Shishi (Lion)
Shitenno
Shoki
Shomen Kongo
Shotoku Taishi
Shrines
Shugendo
Siddhartha
Six States
Star Deities
Stone Gardens
Stone Graves
Stone Lanterns
Stones (Top Menu)
Suijin (Water Kami)
Symbols & Objects
Tamonten
Taishakuten
Tanuki
Temples
Temple Lodging
Tenbu Group
Tengu
Tennin & Tennyo
Tentoki or Jyaki
Terminology
Tiantai Art Tour
Tibetan Carpets
Tibet Photos
Tibetan Tanka
Transmigration
Ungyo
Unkei Busshi
Videos on Buddhism
Water Basin
Weapons
Wheel of Life
Yakushi Nyorai
Yasha (Yaksha)
Zao Gongen
Zen (Daruma)
Zen Art Tour
Zodiac Calendar
Zochoten

 



Handbook on Viewing Buddhist Statues
A totally wonderful
book by Ishii Ayako.
Some images
at this site were
scanned from this
book; Japanese
language only;
192 pages;
80+ color photos

Click here to
buy book at Amazon

spacer

SHITENNŌ MENU
Intro Page
Jikokuten
 Zōchōten
    Kōmokuten You Are Here
Tamonten
 Taishakuten
Photo Tour (China)
   Online Store



 

Komokuten - Japanese spelling
Kōmokuten 広目天
King of the West, Lord of Limitless Vision. Sees through Evil
Associations = West, Fall, Metal, Awareness, White


ORIGIN = Hindu deity incorporated into Buddhism.
Member of the TENBU, SHITENNŌ, DEVA
One of Four Heavenly Kings Who Guard East, West, North, South
Governed by Taishakuten (Skt. = Indra), Lord of the Center

Japanese Mantra

おん びろばくしゃ のうぎゃ
ぢはたえい そわか


On Birobakusha Nōgya Chihataei Sowaka
(or)
Om Birobakusha Nōgya Chihataei Sowaka

Komokuten at Hase Dera in Kamakura (metal statue, modern)
Kōmokuten at Hase Dera, Kamakura.
Modern, Metal. Click image to enlarge.

Koumokuten -- Sanskrit Vii or Bii
 Sanskrit Seed
for Kōmokuten

Pronounced
BI  in Japan

Koumokuten - Nara Period (Todaiji, Kaidanin)
Kōmokuten 広目天
Painted Clay, H = 162.7 cm, 8th Century
Tōdaiji (Todaij) Temple 東大寺, Nara

spacer
Kōmokuten 広目天 literally means Wide Eyed or Expansive Vision. Kōmokuten sees through evil, punishes evil, and encourages aspirations for enlightenment. Kōmokuten is one of the four Shintennō, a group of fierce-looking (忿怒相 funnusō) guardian deities who protect the four cardinal directions of Buddha’s realm. In artwork, the four are typically placed around the central deity on Buddhist altars. Kōmokuten protects the western quarter. Like the other members of the Shintennō group, Kōmokuten is typically dressed in armor (yoroi 鎧) and stands atop a demon (jaki 邪鬼). The oldest statue of Komokuten in Japan (see photo at right) dates to the middle 7th century and is located at Hōryūji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara. It is part of an extant set of all four.

In mainland Asia, Komokuten is often shown with red skin holding a jewel in one hand and a snake in the other or coiled around the deity. Komokuten is attended by the Naga (Sanskrit for serpents, including dragons) and the Pūtanā (type of hungry ghost associated with fevers and protecting pregnant women; in Vedic traditions a demon witch who killed babies). Komokuten is the Buddhist equivalent to the white tiger of Chinese mythology, in which four creatures (dragon, tiger, red bird, turtle) guard the four cardinal directions. In China, Komokuten is called Guangmu, in Tibet Mig Midang. (Editor’s note: The color associated with Komokuten varies and does not appear to be rigidly set). 

 

Koumokuten, 110 cm Wood, Heian Era 11 Century, Houryuu-ji Temple
Kōmokuten
Wood, H = 110 cm.
Heian Era, 11 Century
Hōryūji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara
Photo: Temple catalog

spacerVARIOUS SPELLINGS & ASSOCIATIONS
  • Japanese = Kōmokuten, Komokuten, Koumokuten 広目天
  • Sanskrit = Virūpākṣa, Virupaksa, Virupaksha
  • Chinese = Guǎngmùtiān, Kuang-mu-t'ien
  • Korean = 광목천, Gwangmokcheon, Kwangmokch'ŏn
  • Vietnam = Quảng mục thiên
  • Kōmokuten literally means “Wide Eyed” or “Expansive Vision.”
  • King of the West, Sees through evil. Discerns / punishes badness. Lord of Limitless Vision. Encourages aspirations for enlightenment.
  • West, Fall, Metal, Awareness, White (Red in India & China)
  • Dwells in and protects the western continent Saigokashū 西牛貨洲 (Skt. = Aparagodāna) surrounding Mt. Shumisen 須弥山 (Skt. = Mt. Sumeru). This mountain is the mythical home of the Historical Buddha and other Buddhist deities).
  • Rules over the Nāga 龍 (serpent-like demigods, including dragons)
  • Rules over the Pūtana 富單那, a type of hungry ghost associated with fevers and with causing sickness among children. In Vedic traditions, Pūtana is a demon witch who kills babies. <source Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism>.
  • Appears in the western portion of the Gekongōbu-in 外金剛部院. (outer section) of the Taizōkai Mandala 胎蔵界曼荼羅 (Womb World, Matrix Realm).
  • Appears in various other mandala, including the Ten Realms Mandala and Hōrōkaku Mandala.
  • In the Nichiren sects, Kōmōkuten is #33  on the Gohonzon 御本尊 diagram.
  • Nearly always dressed in armor (yoroi 鎧), looking ferocious (funnusō 忿怒相), and carrying weapons or objects (jimotsu 持物) said to eliminate evil influences and suppress the enemies of Buddhism. Also typically shown standing atop evil spirits (known as Jaki in Japan), symbolizing the power to repel and defeat evil. Sometimes depicted with a fiery halo.
  • Often depicted holding a writing brush in right hand and a sutra in left (symbolizing the power of Buddha’s teachings to overcome ignorance, evil, and all obstacles), or clenching the right fist while the left holds a three-pronged spear (sansageki 三叉戟); however, the deity’s attributes are not rigidly prescribed and thus differ among Buddhist nations.
  • Oldest extant statue of Kōmokuten is part of a set of four Shitennō statues possessed by Hōryūji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara that dates to the mid-7th Century. See photo below.

Top of Page

Komokuten, Toji Temple, Heian Era, 839 AD, H = 171.8 cm
Kōmokuten 広目天
Toji (Tōji) Temple 東寺, Kyoto
Heian Era, 839 AD, H = 171.8 cm, Painted Wood
Photo Source = 日本の仏像 Vol. 4

Komokuten, by Yamaguchi Busshi, Hakuho Period, Horyuji Temple, Nara
Kōmokuten 広目天
Oldest extant image of Kōmokuten in Japan
Wood, H = 133.3 cm, Mid-7th Century
Hōryūji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara, Carved by Yamaguchi Busshi
Photo: Comprehensive Dictionary of Japan's Nat’l Treasures
国宝大事典 (西川 杏太郎). ISBN 4-06-187822-0.

Koumokuten, Koyasan, Early Kamakura Era
Kōmokuten 広目天, H = 135.2 cm
Dated to early Kamakura era, 13th century
Mt. Kōya 高野山, Kongōbuji Temple 金剛峰寺
Originally located at Todaiji (Tōdaiji) Temple 東大寺
Photo Source = 日本の仏像 Vol. 10

Koumokuten (Virupaksa), -94 cm Wood with Pigments, Heian Era 12th C, Houryuu-ji Temple
Kōmokuten (Virupaksa)
H = 94 cm, Wood with Pigments
 Heian Era 12th Century
Hōryūji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara

Top of Page

JYAKI (JAKI) DEMON - 邪鬼
In Japan, the
Four Shitennō Guardians are almost always shown stepping on evil demons called Jyaki or Tentōki. This iconography symbolizes the power of the Shitennō to repel and defeat evil.

Tentoki at Hase Dera in Kamakura (metal statues) Tentoki at Hase Dera in Kamakura (metal statues) Tentoki at Hase Dera in Kamakura (metal statues)

Jaki (Jyaki) at Hase Dera in Kamakura (click any image to enlarge)
 
Click here for more details about the Jyaki demons.

Top of Page

Click any image to jump to that deity's stand-alone page.
Four Shitenno, Horyuji (Hōryūji) Temple 法隆寺, Nara
Mid-7th Century. Oldest extant set of the four.
Kōmokuten 広目天, Zōchōten 増長天, Tamonten 多門天, Jikokuten 持国天
Painted Wood, Each Statue Approx. 133.5 cm in Height
Photos from Comprehensive Dictionary of Japan's Nat’l Treasures
国宝大事典 (西川 杏太郎. ISBN 4-06-187822-0.

Top of Page

Komokuten-Virupaksa-painting-from-hidden-library-cave-dunhuang-china-KMT-page
Kōmokuten (West). Chinese = Guǎngmùtiān
Tang Dynasty, 9th Century. Ink and colors on silk.
H = 43.5 cm, W = 18 cm. British Museum, Stein Painting 137.
Painting from the Hidden Library Cave, Dunhuang, China
Scanned from DUNHUANG: A Centennial Commemoration of the Discovery of the Cave Library.
ISBN 7-5054-0716-3/J-0396. First published in 2000 by Morning Glory Publishers, Beijing, China

komokuten-deadlytowers-com-600pxl
Kōmokuten (West) holding his customary writing brush and sutra and sitting atop the evil
Jyaki.
Image from Deadly Towers, a modern video game. Photo courtesy: http://www.deadlytowers.com/

Top of Page

LEARN MORE

Top of Page

spacer
bottom bar

Copyright 1995 - 2014. Mark Schumacher. Email Mark.
All stories and photos, unless specified otherwise, by Schumacher.
www.onmarkproductions.com     |     make a donation

Please do not copy these pages or photos into Wikipedia or elsewhere without proper citation !