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Guardian King of the South and Buddhist Guardian King of the East, approx. 950-1000

Virudhaka (Japanese: Zochoten)

Virudhaka (Japanese: Zochoten), Buddhist Guardian King of the South, one of a pair, Heian Period (794-1185), approx. 950-1000. Japan. Wood and pigments. The Avery Brundage Collection, B6S318+.

Dhritarashtra (Japanese: Jikokuten), Buddhist Guardian King of the East

Dhritarashtra (Japanese: Jikokuten), Buddhist Guardian King of the East, one of a pair, Heian Period (794-1185), approx. 950-1000. Japan. Wood and pigments. The Avery Brundage Collection, B6S318+.

Virudhaka (Japanese: Zochoten)
Dhritarashtra (Japanese: Jikokuten), Buddhist Guardian King of the East

In Indian Buddhist mythology, the guardian kings of the four directions dwell on the upper slopes of Mount Meru. In a Japanese Buddhist temple, the guardian kings are placed on an elaborate platform representing Mount Meru. When only two guardians are displayed, the guardians of the east and south are paired, flanking the buddha Amitabha, a principal deity. They are depicted as warriors wearing armor. Their raised arms once held weapons. Each stands on a demon, a symbol of evil.

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