Medium: Hinoki wood with lacquer on cloth, pigment, rock crystal, metal
Dimensions: 22 1/16 x 10 1/4 x 13 15/16 (56.0 x 26.0 x 35.5 cm)
Museum Location: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
Accession Number: 86.21
Catalogue Description: An over-life-size head from a figure of one of the Shitenno, the four guardian kings of the cardinal directions in Buddhism. The head was at one time owned by the Nara temple Kofuku-ji. The fiery eyes, furrowed brow, prominent nose, and open mouth present a ferocious mien typical of these Heavenly Guardians, whose role was to protect the temple's sacred precincts. The head is carved of two blocks of wood, into which the topknot is inserted. Crystal inset eyes, painted on reverse. The filigree metal crown is a later replacement. Remains of polychrome on the outer surface, and traces of the painter's graffiti on the interior.