Past Exhibitions

Miraculous Stories of Buddhist Deities
April 14, 2015 - May 10, 2015

In the Middle Ages, the authority of the ruling powers began to decline, putting the temples that had relied on them for patronage on shaky footing, and forcing them to obtain more believers among the general public. Miraculous tales and stories of blessings of the Buddha and other deities, often embodied in a temple's principal image of worship, were an effective means of encouraging faith among the secular populace. These were not necessarily instructional religious stories, and some were more like folk tales with which the people of the time were already familiar. They included Naki Fudōen-gi, the tale of Weeping Fudō, in which the deity Fudō shed tears of compassion, and went to the gates of Hell himself and stood before the deity Enma, in place of a young monk who had taken on a mortal illness in order to heal his master; Mibu Jizō engi, in which the deity Jizō healed the illnesses of common people; and the extraordinary Bukkigun emaki (Battle of the Buddhas and Demons).

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