This site requires that you enable Javascript to function properly Japanese Art | Amida Raigo | Descent of Buddha Amitabha
Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
  index of the exhibition  
Amida Raigo
Zenzai Doji
unsigned, 14th century (late Kamakura period)
Amida Raigo (Descent of Buddha Amitabha)
hanging scroll, ink, color and gold on silk, with details in gold kirigane, mounted with brocade, with pierced bronze rollers decorated with lotus blossoms in high relief
painting: 40 1/8 by 16 3/4 in., 102 by 42.5 cm
overall: 66 1/2 by 21 1/4 in., 169 by 54 cm
Amida (Amitabha) is the Buddha of the Western Paradise, worshipped widely in East Asia and thought to welcome believers upon their rebirth into the Western Paradise, even if they only spoke the name of Amida at the moment of their death. This painting depicts Amida descending from heaven on a double-lotus pedestal, the hands in the position of the raigo (welcoming) mudra: the right arm is raised with hand facing outward with the thumb and forefinger touching (symbolizing wisdom), while the left arm extends downward in the same position indicates that wisdom is offered even to the lowest among us. Images of Amida Raigo were frequently placed at the deathbed of devotees in order to facilitate their rebirth into a Pure Land or Western Paradise.