A collection of ten talisman (or amulet) Buddhist woodblock-printed scrolls on paper, of various heights & lengths, ranging from 60 to 80 mm. in height & from 4360 to 10,715 mm. in length (the longest scroll is modern), in varying condition but generally in very good state. TALISMAN BUDDHIST SCROLLS.

Kokonoe no mamori

“Veritable Encyclopedias of Buddhist Iconography”

A collection of ten talisman (or amulet) Buddhist woodblock-printed scrolls on paper, of various heights & lengths, ranging from 60 to 80 mm. in height & from 4360 to 10,715 mm. in length (the longest scroll is modern), in varying condition but generally in very good state.

[Japan]: mid- to late-Edo, except for the longest, which is modern.

Ten very rare examples of kokonoe no mamori, good luck talismans printed in the form of extremely long and narrow scrolls; because of their ephemeral nature, they are rare today. These talisman scrolls were not really meant to be unrolled and studied; instead, they were intended to be tightly rolled and kept in a small pouch close to the chest for good luck.

“Such narrow but extremely long handscrolls, veritable encyclopedias of Buddhist iconography, received the name kokonoe no mamori (amulet in nine layers) during the Edo period, because they begin with [but not always, there are many without] a red seal in the shapes of a cauldron containing characters that can be read kokonoe no mamori. All the scrolls start with [but not always, there are many without] an image of Ususama Myoo (S: Ucchushma), the king who has the power to burn away impurity and evil, and is followed by powerful magical syllables (J. shingon, S: mantra), various ‘seed’ mandalas in Sanskrit, and sutras in Chinese. Next, Buddhist deities, including Esoteric icons, are depicted along the length of the handscroll; buddhas, bodhisattvas, the four guardian kings, the five great kings of light, Yakushi Buddha with sixteen protectors, and a thousand-armed Kannon (S: Sahasrabhuja) with twenty-eight attendants. Many cosmological deities are included: the nine luminaries and Taizanfusei (related to the Big Dipper). Such popularized Esoteric icons as Shoten (S: Nandikeshvara), Dakiniten (S: Dakini), Idaten (S: Skanda), Gozu Tenno, and Tawara Daikokuten (S: Mahakala) are also shown. The last section of the scroll contains a series of dharani sutras in Sanskrit, magical formulas of knowledge that are composed of syllables with symbolic content…

“Two types of kokonoe no mamori became popular in the Edo period as talismans for journeys and pilgrimages and as a part of the wedding trousseau. One type has at the end of the scroll a portrait of Kukai, the founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, while the other portrays Saicho, the found of Tendai Esoteric Buddhism.”–Masako Watanabe, The Written Image. Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection, item 22 (pp. 86-88).

As noted, these scrolls are in good to very good condition. Some have wear or are wormed or have some considerable repairs. A few have dampstaining. As mentioned above, the longest scroll is modern.

Price: $5,000.00

Item ID: 7414

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