National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0053 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 53 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000188
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



tenth centuries as hereditary governors under the suzerainty of the Emperors " This personage, over a trailing white under-robe, wears a black jacket ornamented with symbols in yellow, of which the discs emblematic of the Sun and the Moon, a pair of rampant dragons, and the Svastika can be made out quite clearly. He alone appears as a worshipper, and an elaborate head-dress of peculiar shape marks his high rank.

In his cortège we see officials wearing white under-robes and black jackets with various formal patterns of a stiff black head-dress. Three among them carry long swords before them, pointed downwards, while two hold rolls of paper. One of the latter, walking beside the chief, is represented as a mere boy and may perhaps be a son. Two others in somewhat different costume, including shirts of mail under shorter jackets, walk a little apart. The two fan-bearers are attired in short jackets and white trousers, and on the feet of the coarsely drawn figure to the right we notice string sandals of exactly the same type as attested by plentiful specimens among my finds from the Tun-huang Limes.

There can be no doubt that the lower portion of the picture, with its animated if rather rough drawing, represents a scene such as old Tun-huang must have often witnessed on ceremonial occasions. It is hence specially to be regretted that the absence of any dedicatory inscription leaves us in ignorance of the date and the particular local chief represented.



BOTH the paintings of this Plate represent Ksitigarbha, Avalokitesvara's only possible rival in popularity among the Bodhisattvas of the Buddhist Pantheon of the Far East. Though well known in China as Ti-tsang and in Japan as Jizô, yet his early and frequent appearance among the Chien-fo-tung paintings was something of a surprise, considering that neither in Indian nor in Central-Asian Buddhism does his figure play a prominent part. Among the Bodhisattvas represented in our banners he is always clearly distinguished by the shaven head of the monk and the barred or mottled mantle, the mendicant's garment 49 Other paintings help to illustrate the several aspects of his character which account for his still prevailing popularity in the Far East.

` There he is still worshipped as one of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas. Through countless incarnations he has been working for the salvation of living beings, and he is in especial honoured as the breaker of the powers of hell. With his pilgrim's staff he strikes upon the doors of hell and opens them, and with the lustrous pearl which he carries he illustrates its darkness. He is represented as Lord of the Six Worlds of Desire, the world of the Devas or heavenly spirits, of men and women, of Asuras or demons, of beings in hell, of Pretas or devils, and of animals ; and also as the supreme Regent of Hell with the Ten Infernal Kings or Magistrates under him.' 5°

It is in this last-named character that we see Ksitigarbha represented in the large silk painting (Ch. 0021) which is reproduced on the right of Plate xxv, on the scale of one-third. The Bodhisattva is seen seated on a rock covered with a figured cloth. His right foot rests on a lotus and the left is bent across. The left hand holds the mendicant's staff over his shoulder, while the right, resting on the knee, supports a crystal ball. Over a green under-robe he wears a mantle of grey, mottled with black, red, and green, and barred with yellow. The traveller's shawl, grey ornamented with a spot pattern in yellow, is bound round his head

48 Cf. Chavannes, Dix inscriptions chinoises de l'Asie centrale, pp. 8o sqq. ; Serindia, p. 1338 sq.

48 See Serindia, p. 864, with note 16.

5° Cf. Mr. Binyon's remarks in Guide to an Exhibition of Paintings, MSS., &c., collected by Sir Aurel Stein (British Museum, London, 1914), p. 7 sq. ; also M. Petrucci's account of Ksitigarbha's ' Mandalas ', Serindia,

p. 1422 sq.

The history of Ksitigarbha's cult in China and Japan forms the subject of a full and very instructive monograph, The Bodhisattva Ti-tsang (Jixô) in China and Japan, by Professor M. W. de Visser, with numerous illustrations (Oesterheld & Co., Berlin, 1915), to which reference may be made for all details.