Close
Close

Accessibility

Interface

Adjust the interface to make it easier to use for different conditions.

Tamonten, Guardian of the North, one of the Four Guardian Kings of the Four Directions

Tamonten, Guardian of the North, one of the Four Guardian Kings of the Four Directions

Tamonten, Guardian of the North, one of the Four Guardian Kings of the Four Directions

Pagoda and demon: 19th century

Wood with traces of lacquer, crystal eyes, metal

H: 80 cm

The Jacob Pins Collection in the Israel Museum

Accession number:

B01.0595

Arts/Asian Art

In Japanese temples, a figure of Tamonten usually stands at one of the four corners of the altar. He is depicted as a fierce, armor-clad warrior, punisher of evil-doers and defender of Buddhism, standing on a demon, symbol of ignorance and the enemy of Buddhism. He holds a spear in one hand and a small pagoda in the other; the pagoda symbolizes the divine treasure house, whose contents he guards. This sculpture is composed of several parts made during different periods, the later parts probably replacing broken or missing elements.

From the Israel Museum publications:

The Jacob Pins Collection: Japanese Prints, Paintings, and Sculptures, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1994