Object Image

Zen Buddhist Priest's Scepter

Buddhist monks carry staffs or wands in various sizes and shapes. This one is an example of a nyoi, meaning "as desired." In China, these scepters were also emblems of scholars. The form may have evolved from a scepter held by Chinese scholar during debates from around the 300s C.E. In its Buddhist context, the stylized cloud shape at one end symbolized the transmission of the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha). This scepter bears and inscription indicating that it was made for the Zen priest Sengai Gibon (Japanese, 1750-1837).

Purchase: the Everitt Oriental Fund in memory of Donna Johns O'Neal, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Everitt P. O'Neal

Edo period (1615-1868)
Polished and carved root wood
2.0 x 3.6 x 19.2 in
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023

Présenté par

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Collection permanente