Important Cultural Property
1 hanging scroll
Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk
H 125.5, W 86.7
Kamakura period/13th-14th century
Nara National Museum
Godaison (Godai Myoo) are five great Myoo placed in five directions, which is discussed in a set of two scrolls of "Ninnou Gokoku Hannya Haramitta Kyou" translated by a Chinese Buddhist priest Amoghavajra (Fukuu) and a scroll of "Shomuge Kyou" and consists of Fudo (center), Kozanze (east and to the observer's bottom right), Gundari (south and to the observer's bottom left), Daiitoku (west and to the observer's upper left) and Kongoyasha (north and to the observer's upper right). The images of Godaison are drawn as five separate paintings have been seen from the early Heian period and some examples such as Godaison-zo held at To-ji Temple in Kyoto are known. However, just like this painting, the style of Godai Myoo represented in one painting (Fudo Myoo at the center and others in each of the four directions) was established later than that and the images in Hakubyou (ink line painting) first appeared in the period between the late Heian period and the early Kamakura period.
In terms of the style, Fudo has a similar but more ample body than the Ao Fudo held in Shorenin in Kyoto and the faces are similar. It indicates an iconography of Genchoyou (Gencho's style). The halo with flames on the back is divided into seven parts as if they were the flames of a Karura (a fire-breathing creature from Japanese Hindu-Buddhist mythology). Two images of Doji have a style mixed with those held in Horaku-ji Temple in Osaka and Ruri-ji Temple (also known as Ruridera) in Hyogo. (Seitaka Doji is the same as Ni-Doji with a style of Hakubyo Genchoyou held at Godai-ji Temple.) The iconographical features of other four Myoo are very similar to the four Myoo excluding Fudo among Godaison in Godai-ji Temple and is also the same as the iconography of Enjinyou contained in "Besson Zakki." In a word, this painting was drawn in a newly established style by combining multiple styles of iconographies.
Unlike Ao Fudo, no colorful or fine patterns are applied to Fudo Myoo. The expressions such as the heavy colors, strongly applied Kumadori (shading) and expressive ink lines are rather different from the Buddhist paintings in the Heian period and indicate unique the features of the powerfully expressed Buddhist paintings in the Kamakura period.