Rebirth of the Nun Anyo

A work made of pair six-panel screens; ink, colors, and gold on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pair six-panel screens; ink, colors, and gold on paper.

Date:

early 18th century

Artist:

Artist Unknown
Japanese

About this artwork

小さな邸宅で、老齢の尼僧が臨終を迎え、静かに座り、阿弥陀如来と、讃嘆の菩薩たちが、金雲にのって来迎するのを見つめている。阿弥陀如来が、臨終時に人の魂を迎え、西方の極楽浄土へ連れていくという浄土信仰があらわされている。仏尊の周囲には、金字で南無阿弥陀仏の名号が繰り返し記されている。この他、浄土経典の来迎場面の一節や、画中の尼僧像を、『往生要集』を著した源信(画中の僧侶)の妹の安養尼

(953–1034)とする書き込みもある。

この屏風は、表具裂に「珂憶」の字が見えることから、珂憶円信(かおくえんしん)(~1707)により、臨終を予期して注文されたと考えられている。珂憶は、江戸時代の浄土宗の指導的な役割を果たした僧侶で、徳川家の帰依を受けてアドバイザーになった。

An aged nun at the moment of her death sits in a small house calmly watching Amida Buddha and his retinue of bodhisattvas, dancing and playing music, approach on golden clouds. It is the belief of the Pure Land Sect (Jodo) of Buddhism that the Amida Buddha receives the souls of the recently departed and carries them back to the Western Paradise. Repeated in gold around the figures is the mantra Namu Amida Butsu (Hail the Amida Buddha!). By intoning this phrase over and over again, a soul could be assured of salvation. The other texts written in gold contains passages from Pure Land sutras describing the remarkable scene, and another inscription identifies the nun as Anyo (953–1034), the younger sister of the monk Genshin (also pictured), author of the landmark tract Ojo yoshu (The Essentials of Pure Land Rebirth).

Judging from the characters reading “Kaoku” on the mounting fabric, it is believed that this pair of screens was commissioned by Kaoku Enshin (d. 1707), a leading monk of the Pure Land Sect and an advisor to the Tokugawa clan, perhaps in anticipation of his own death.

Currently Off View

Asian Art

Title

Rebirth of the Nun Anyo

Origin

Japan

Date

1701–1733

Medium

Pair six-panel screens; ink, colors, and gold on paper

Dimensions

151.5 x 373 cm (59 5/8 x 147 in.) each

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation

Reference Number

1963.268-1963.269

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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