Prince Shotoku (Shotoku Taishi) and attendants


Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 13th century
Ink, color, and gold on silk
H x W (overall): 212 x 94 cm (83 7/16 x 37 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the Parnassus Foundation, courtesy of Jane and Raphael Bernstein; Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Pearl; Jeffrey P. Cunard; and the Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

attendant, Buddhism, filial piety, incense, Japan, kakemono, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333), portrait, prince, sutra, WWII-era provenance

Baron Kuki Ryuichi (1852-1931), Japan [1]

To 2001
Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto, to 2001

From 2001
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Takashi Yanagi in 2001

[1] According to Curatorial Note 2, James T. Ulak, April 13, 2001, in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Takashi Yanagi
Baron Kuki Ryuichi 1852 - 1931


Prince Shotoku (574–622) was a Japanese leader renowned for his efforts at national unification as well as for sponsoring the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. In the centuries after his death, a strong cult following produced important religious devotional images in both painting and sculptural formats. The sixteen-year-old prince, bearing an incense burner and garbed in Buddhist vestments, is flanked by two attendants; one carries a rolled sutra. Enveloped in these symbols of ascendant Buddhist power, the young prince pays respect to his dying father, Emperor Yomei (reigned 585–87). Here the new order is represented by a self-possessed young prince, who nevertheless honors his origins. This image of the prince is considered the most important example of its kind in a Western collection.

Published References
  • pp. 174-175.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum