Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:34 am

Right now at the Tokyo National Museum they have an exhibition of Mikkyo art and assorted items including some of Kukai's possessions. They have the vajra and bell he received from his teacher Huiguo. I took some covert photos (Japanese museums are generally intolerant of even non-flash photography as they probably want you to buy the photo book on sale in the gift shop).

Assuming these were manufactured sometime around when they were bestowed upon Kukai, they'd be from the early 9th century. Unless someone knows otherwise, I assume they are of Chinese make.

Image

Image


Amazing to see these up close. I stood there a good fifteen minutes looking them over and just imagining where they came from.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby jake » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:38 am

Do you happen to know how long this exhibit will be at the museum?

Thanks,

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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby jake » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:40 am

Nevermind, was able to google it:

http://www.tnm.jp/modules/r_free_page/index.php?id=1393

Ends September 25th.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:44 am

If you have a chance by all means go.

I recommend a weekday. It was absolutely packed today despite it being an ordinary Tuesday afternoon. I imagine a weekend is intolerable. There is advertising for this exhibit all around Tokyo.

Visiting Koyasan's museum at Koyasan in Wakayama prefecture is also a good trip to take if you want to see authentic Mikkyo stuff.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:09 am

I made a brief post about this at my blog, too:

http://huayanzang.blogspot.com/2011/08/ ... -bell.html
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Mr. G » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:16 am

Very cool pic Huseng, thanks.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:22 pm

Huseng wrote:

Amazing to see these up close. I stood there a good fifteen minutes looking them over and just imagining where they came from.


These were mostly likley manufactured in Java. This style of bell and dorje is typical of Javanese vajras and bells cast during that period.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Huseng wrote:

Amazing to see these up close. I stood there a good fifteen minutes looking them over and just imagining where they came from.


These were mostly likley manufactured in Java. This style of bell and dorje is typical of Javanese vajras and bells cast during that period.


I see. Now that is interesting to consider.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby rory » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:25 am

Big gassho Huseng;
the pic is amazing, please post more!
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:42 am

rory wrote:Big gassho Huseng;
the pic is amazing, please post more!


I was limited in my photo taking at the time because you're not supposed to take photos. Even non-flash photography. I had to take pics covertly. :spy:
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby rory » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:22 pm

I understand, I'm enjoying your blog as well. Are many people interested in Mikkyo in Japan, that so many are crowding the exhibit?
gassho
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:22 am

rory wrote:I understand, I'm enjoying your blog as well. Are many people interested in Mikkyo in Japan, that so many are crowding the exhibit?
gassho
Rory


I think the exhibit is popular due to the extensive advertising. There are huge signs for it in train stations.

I noticed it was mostly older folks visiting and reckon the majority of them are retired. Mind you, that was on a weekday afternoon. There might be a few more youth on weekends, but probably not so much more.

I don't think most visitors would ever think to take up practising or even studying Mikkyo. It is part of Japan's cultural heritage and the artwork is just downright cool. The sculptures on exhibit in particular are fine works of art and their exotic mysterious quality intrigue people.
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby mudra » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:45 am

Huseng wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Huseng wrote:

Amazing to see these up close. I stood there a good fifteen minutes looking them over and just imagining where they came from.


These were mostly likley manufactured in Java. This style of bell and dorje is typical of Javanese vajras and bells cast during that period.


I see. Now that is interesting to consider.


Actually I have never seen a dorje and bell from Java that looked like that. Usually the Javanese (Sumatran too) bell had a bit of a 'midriff' bulge, curve and then a flare out on the bottom,
http://jameelcentre.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/collection/4/880/881/all/per_page/100/offset/0/sort_by/seqn./object/547
reflected also in the stupas from that period which Jowo Atisha popularized in Tibet as the "Kadampa Stupa", for example the stupas on Candi Borobudur.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur
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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby kirtu » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:21 pm

Namdrol wrote:These were mostly likley manufactured in Java. This style of bell and dorje is typical of Javanese vajras and bells cast during that period.


And Java was a stronghold of Vajrayana at the time.

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Re: Kukai's Vajra and Bell

Postby mudra » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:01 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:These were mostly likley manufactured in Java. This style of bell and dorje is typical of Javanese vajras and bells cast during that period.


And Java was a stronghold of Vajrayana at the time.

Kirt


Java and Sumatra were yes. But that vajra especially that bell really don't look Javanese at all.
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