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Image of Zushi (Small Portable Shrine for Buddhist Figure)

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Zushi (Small Portable Shrine for Buddhist Figure)

Late Edo
19th century
Painted wood with gilding, lacquer, and brass

4 5/8 in. x 2 5/8 in. (11.75 cm x 6.67 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: TN.43
Geography: Asia, Japan
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Sculptures
Culture/Nationality: Japanese

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • Asian - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Asia, which is in the eastern hemisphere, and is bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and is generally considered to be delimited on the west by the Ural Mountains. It also refers to the numerous islands off the coast of Asia.
  • Buddhas - Representations in any medium of Gautama Buddha.
  • Buddhism - Refers to the philosophy and religion based on the enlightenment and teachings of the Buddha Gautama in the early sixth century BCE in the northeastern region of modern India. Playing dominant roles in the art and culture of Southeast Asia and East Asia, this religion is based on the transcendence of human suffering and pain through the acceptance of the limitations of individuality, the surrender of worldly desires and cravings that cause disappointment and sorrow, and the deliverance from the impermanence of living and individual ego based on wealth, social position, or family through the process of enlightenment (nirvana). The religion also centers around 'anatman', or no-self, the idea that the self is in a state of action or a series of changing manifestations rather than in a state of fixed, metaphysical substance. The structure of the religion is based on the Triratna ("Three Jewels" of Buddha), a tripartite schematic for living based on three elements: Buddha (the teacher), dharma (the teaching), and sangha (community).
  • Edo - Refers to the period and style that developed from the unification of Japan in 1600 until the end of the shogunal dynasty in 1868. During this period, economic expansion encouraged the rise of an educated merchant class who created their own forms of literature and theater as well as new schools of painting and woodblock printing. A wide diversity of pictorial subjects and styles developed during this period and many 19th century Western artists were influenced by them.
  • gilding - Process involving the surface application of gold or another metal in the form of leaf, powder applied directly to the surface, powder mixed with a binder, electroplating, or other forms to approximate the effect of solid or inlaid metal.
  • Japanese - Nationality, periods, cultures, and styles found in Japan, either in historical times or in the present.
  • lacquer - Paint, varnish, or another material applied by coating, made of the resinous exudation of certain trees or from insects, and that dries with a high gloss or matte finish. In most lacquers resin is dissolved in a volatile solvent or a drying oil and hardens by evaporation. Lacquer may be applied in many layers, so the thick surface may be set with inlays or carved.
  • religion and mythology
  • shrines - Structures or large furnishings in which devotion is paid to a statue, picture, saint, deity or other holy objects. For containers for safeguarding the relics of a saint, use "reliquaries".
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image TN.43_BMC_f.jpg

  • Shrine Dimensions: 4 5/8 x 2 5/8 in. (11.748 x 6.668 cm)

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Katherine Anne Paul and Ikumi Kaminishi. Beyond Zen: Japanese Buddhism Revealed (Lewes, UK: The Newark Museum of Art; D. Giles Limited, 2021), 37-43.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Zushi (Small Portable Shrine for Buddhist Figure) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=6/6/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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