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Pair of architectural carvings of wind and thunder deities, Fujin and Raijin, 1600-1700

Architectural carving of Wind God (Fujin)

Architectural carving of Wind God (Fujin), Edo period (1615-1868), 1600-1700. Japan.  Architectural element; wood. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S2+.

Architectural carving of the Thunder God (Raijin)

Architectural carving of the Thunder God (Raijin), Edo period (1615-1868), 1600-1700. Japan.  Architectural element; wood. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S3+.

Architectural carving of Wind God (Fujin)
Architectural carving of the Thunder God (Raijin)

The wind god (B60S2+) is both portrayed as a nearly naked demon striding in the air on ornamental clouds. The wind god carries a sack of air over his shoulder and is ready to release it to create strong wind. These bearded, pot-bellied gnomes, often depicted as ferocious yet comical demons, are guardians against natural calamities. They are included in the twenty-eight followers of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in his thousand-armed form. They decorated architectural elements, called "frog-crotch" struts (kaerumata) and were placed at the top of the spaces between columns. The thunder god (B60S3+) is portrayed as a nearly naked demon striding in the air on ornamental clouds. With drumsticks in both hands, he is ready to beat a ring of drums that encircle him overhead. This bearded, pot-bellied gnome, often depicted as a ferocious yet comical demon, is a guardian against natural calamities. He is included in the twenty-eight followers of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in his thousand-armed form. He decorated architectural elements, called "frog-crotch" struts (kaerumata) and were placed at the top of the spaces between columns