A small silk uchishiki of a lion and peonies, created with the tapestry "Tsume tsuzure" technique). Cotton backing. Very good condition, with some fraying. 16" x 10". The Lion is one of Buddhism's most potent symbols. Traditionally, the lion is associated with regality, strength and power. It is therefore an appropriate symbol for the Buddha who tradition has it was a royal prince. The Buddha's teachings are sometimes referred to as the 'Lion's Roar', again indicative of their strength and power.
Shakkyō has an ancient tradition which has been adulterated or evolved through the years. Of Buddhist origin it tells the story of the pilgrimage of the priest Jakushō to Mt. Wutai in Shanxi Province in China. One of the holiest sites in East Asia it became a magnet for Japanese monks and "...was associated with the paradise of the bodhisattva Manjuśri..."
"At a stone bridge crossing a deep ravine on the slopes of the holy mountain, Jakushō's is greeted by a shishi, a kind of mythical lion, auspicious messenger of the bodhisattva, who frolics and dances among blooming peonies. A version of the story appears in Konjaku Monogatari, an early twelfth-century collection of tales and is also the theme of several medieval Nō plays.