Fudō Myō-ō, The immovable King of Wisdom,

Fudō Myō-ō, The immovable King of Wisdom

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Kimura Shōgen Munenari, japan, Middle Edo Period (1673-1751)

Technique and Dimensions:

Cast bronze with traces of gilding, halo painted with red lacquer; h. 47.9 cm / 79.5 cm including pedestal and halo


Main hall (inv. no. B-1279)


Edoardo Chiossone Collection, testamentary bequest, 1898

Object Type:


The most revered of the Myō-ō, "Kings of Wisdom", third category in order of importance in Buddhist iconography, is Fudō (Hall, ground floor). His name means "The immovable", to represent his tenacity in terrorizing the enemies of faith and defending the treasures of Buddhism. Our specimen is represented standing on a rock, symbolizing his firmness and irremovability. His attributes are the sankoken sword in his right hand, symbol of knowledge, with a three-pointed vajra-shaped hilt (in our specimen the blade of the sword is missing but the hilt is clearly visible), and the kensaku snare, which serves the dual purpose of immobilizing the enemies of faith and keeping believers from straying from the right path. His flaming halo symbolizes wisdom and pureness since according to the Buddhist tradition the flames would burn any worldly thoughts, purifying one’s mind.