Nio - 5509

Titolo: 
Nio (Kongo Misshaku)
Numero di Inventario: 
5509
Tipologia: 
netsuke
Collezione: 

East

Parole chiave soggetto: 
Nio (Kongo Misshaku)
Autore, ambito, luogo di produzione: 
Not signed, Japan
Pubblicazione: 
Si
Periodo: 
1850
Datazione specifica: 
II half 19th century
Materia e Tecnica: 
ivory
Data di Ingresso: 
2005
Acquisizione: 
Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Tipo di acquisizione: 
bequest

The netsuke depicts a Nio (Kongo Misshaku) bare-chested and wearing only a skirt tied at the waist, his hair gathered into a bun. In his left hand raised high, he holds a vajra (in Japanese kongosho, 金剛杵), a kind of ritual weapon with very powerful symbolic meanings.  The two holes of the himotoshi, one slightly larger than the other, are located on the back of the figure, at the height of the pelvis.

The Nio (仁王), literally "two kings" are guardians of Buddhist law. The statues representing them are usually placed at the entrance of temples. Of the two Nio, the one pictured with his mouth open is called Kongo Rikishi, and the other with the mouth closed - shown in this example - is known as Kongo Misshaku. According to popular belief, these deities ensure health and physical power. An ancient custom is to touch the head with a wad of chewed paper which is then thrown to the Nio: if it sticks to the right point then the disorder that afflicts those who ask for gods' help gods will disappear.
 

 G.R.

AC/DC: 
DC