Japanese image to interpret - samurai with religious figures

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,168
Welsh Marches
#11
The two long-haired fellers clearly have no halos – and so likely belong together as you say – but with the character in the centre having some kind of peculiar head-gear.

Not sure what you mean by "holding an emblem". You mean the dragon's head? I can't see he holds anything. The head of the dragen pokes out in the lower end of the picture, but from what I can see you can follow its body through the picture, snaking behind the other nine characters.

One of the eight "hachibushuu" is precisely a dragon (a naga in the Indian original) while none of them is female – which is why I suggested the interpretation above.
Thank you, I'd misread the image, the dragon does indeed coil round through the group of characters, both in the main image within the bowl, and on the imagery that goes round the outside. There are more haloed figured on the side, eleven in all, plus an unhaloed man (the without the headdress). I wonder whether the unhaloed man with the headdress may have been an ancestor.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,389
#12
Thank you, I'd misread the image, the dragon does indeed coil round through the group of characters, both in the main image within the bowl, and on the imagery that goes round the outside. There are more haloed figured on the side, eleven in all, plus an unhaloed man (the without the headdress). I wonder whether the unhaloed man with the headdress may have been an ancestor.
This is pure geuss work then, but IF it might be an ancestor, possibly the Emperor Seiwa (850-881)?

On the ground that the Shimazu was founded by one of the younger sons of the 12th c. Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-1199), of the Minamoto branch founded by Minamoto Tsunemoto (897-961), son of Seiwa. Then again the picture doesn't look like Seiwa appears to be represented, which is as a monk. So maybe it might be Tsunemoto?

This guy, rather more butch:
1559397106292.png
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,644
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#15
If one could interpret the meaning of the headgear, that would presumably indicate somehting. He doesn't have a 'halo' and is wearing quite similar robes to the man holding the emblem, so they presumably belong together.
His hairstyle is not a samurai hairstyle either. I'm wondering if the figures with haloes are these:
Eight Immortals - Wikipedia
 
Likes: specul8

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,168
Welsh Marches
#16
His hairstyle is not a samurai hairstyle either. I'm wondering if the figures with haloes are these:
Eight Immortals - Wikipedia
A friend has told me that the haloed figures are Theravada saints called Lohan in Chinese and Rakan in Japanese (there are apparently 18 of them, all rather different, of whom eleven are shown on the side of the bowl), and the female-looking figure is Guanyin, I'm not sure of the Japanese name. No help, though, on the non-haloed figures.All of this is an entirlely foreign world to me! I found this which is quite informative on the first lot:

Buddhist Studies: The Lohans' Place in Buddhism

Here is an image of a vase that I found showing lots of these crazy-looking figures, along with the dragon and Guanyin, I've taken rather a liking to them:

rakan.jpg
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,178
Australia
#19
A friend has told me that the haloed figures are Theravada saints called Lohan in Chinese and Rakan in Japanese (there are apparently 18 of them, all rather different, of whom eleven are shown on the side of the bowl), and the female-looking figure is Guanyin, I'm not sure of the Japanese name. No help, though, on the non-haloed figures.All of this is an entirlely foreign world to me! I found this which is quite informative on the first lot:

Buddhist Studies: The Lohans' Place in Buddhism

Here is an image of a vase that I found showing lots of these crazy-looking figures, along with the dragon and Guanyin, I've taken rather a liking to them:

View attachment 20260

... thats some vase ! :eek:
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,644
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#20
Yeah .... where is chonmage ? Are not 8 immortals Chinese ? I note you think they do not look like Japanese ?

Maybe Okinawans , who at one stage. had a strong Chinese influence on their culture.
Yes, they're Chinese but Chinese myth is often found in Japanese illustrations, and a lot of it has been assimilated into Japanese folklore.