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Mandala of Sanno Shrine (J., Sanno-Miya Mandara)
Important Cultural Property
1 hanging scroll
Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, painted also on the scroll-part
H 120.7, W 68.1 (H171.4, W 77.9 with mounting)
Muromachi period/Bunnan 4(1447)
Nara National Museum
Sannoumiya Mandala is a worship painting with the landscape of Hiyoshi Shrine (Sanno-sha Shrine) located at the eastern foot of Hieizan (Mt. Hiei) and developed as a Chinjyusha (a shrine where a tutelary god is enshrined) for Enryaku-ji Temple, which is drawn as the main element. The painting represents Sanno Nijyuissya (a group of 21 shrines at Mt. Hiei, such as the east and west Hongu) clearly enough to stand out against the background representing impressive natural scenery, placing great emphasis on expressing reality. The nature of the Kami (deities) described by the theory based on Honji-Suijaku-Setsu that was created to explain the syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism is that Buddhist deities regarded as honji deities appeared to the actual world and this painting represents the nature of Kami by depicting an actual scene of shrines. Deities enshrined in the 21 shrines, Honjibutsu (universal or original Buddhist divinities) and Shuji are drawn in a separate section created at the upper part of the painting. The names of each image of Buddhist divinities are written in rectangular name tags, bus it is explanatory and may weaken their presence as sacred figures. It is the same for the shrines themselves. It is undeniable that the magnificence of Miya Mandala as a worship painting tended to fade due to the downtrend of the era. Kaki-Hyogu is applied on silk cloth on which the painting is attached and it is valuable that this Kakefuku style (hanging scroll) of the time still remains in such a good condition. According to the ink inscription on a piece of paper attached to the back, this painting had been held at Saikoku, Saito (Enryaku-ji), Hieizan until it was handed down in 1447.