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Hell Buddhism Japan and China


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Class materials for teaching students about Buddhist concepts of hell and heaven.

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Hell Buddhism Japan and China

  1. 1. Hell in Japanese and Chinese Buddhism
  2. 2. Representations of heaven and hell in Japanese Buddhism
  3. 3. The Jigoku zoshi “Hell Scrolls”, late 12th c. color on paper – multiple scrolls. Click here for a link to the on-line interactive scroll found within the Nara Museum Click here for a link to the on-line interactive scroll found in the Tokyo National Museum. Hell on earth, late Heian era, Japan
  4. 4. Consider the following while viewing images from these scrolls: • What is the overall environment of hell? • How are the people in hell depicted? – How does this relate to the way people are depicted in other scrolls we have seen? • Who are the keepers of hell? – Where do you think these images come from? • Do you think depictions of hell are standardized? Why or why not?
  5. 5. Hell scenes, woodblock print, Japan, 18th c What imagery carries over?
  6. 6. Hell hanging scroll, Japan, 18th c. ink and color on paper.
  7. 7. 10 Kings scroll, Dunhuang caves, China, 10th c. ink/color/paper
  8. 8. Rokudo “The 6 Paths” - 6 types of rebirth 1. Deva [heavenly being] 2. Asura [titan] 3. Human 4. Animal 5. Gaki [hungry ghost] 6. Hell dweller *if you can break free of this cycle, you can reach enlightenment.
  9. 9. Sculpted image of Wheel of Rebirth, Baodingshan, China, 12th c, stone.
  10. 10. Baodingshan cave site, Dazu County, Sichuan, China
  11. 11. Heavens of the Pure Land at Baodingshan, 12th c., China
  12. 12. New soul being reborn in a lotus within the Pure Land.
  13. 13. Hell tableau at Baodingshan, late 12th c., China
  14. 14. King Yama [Jpn. Emma], overseer of all the kings & hells
  15. 15. Swordtree Hell – with woman in cangue at left and jailer center.
  16. 16. Hell of the Iron Wheel
  17. 17. Freezing Hell Hell of Feces and Filth
  18. 18. Iron Bed Hell [L] and Hell of the Iron Bed [R] Karmic Mirror between the two.
  19. 19. Boiling Cauldron Hell
  20. 20. Hell of Being Cut in Two at the Knees Woodblock print showing judicial punishment of being cut up. China, 18th c.
  21. 21. Individuals being punished through use of the cangue.
  22. 22. Hell for those who Sell Alcohol Alcohol Sellers Both images from Great Buddha Bend, Baodingshan.
  23. 23. Hungry Ghost ‘hell’, lowest level, Hell tableau, Great Buddha Bend, Baodingshan.
  24. 24. Multiple manifestations of Dizang [Jizo] at Baodingshan L and R: Dizang as monk; Center: Dizang as Bodhisattva
  25. 25. Jizo bosatsu 14th c., ink/color/silk – British Museum Jizo bosatsu [Dizang bodhisattva], 13th c. gold leaf/wood – Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  26. 26. The Gaki zoshi, “Hungry Ghosts Scroll”, late 12th c. Ink/color/paper – Tokyo National Museum
  27. 27. The Gaki zoshi, “Hungry Ghosts Scroll”, late 12th c. Ink/color/paper – Kyoto National Museum
  28. 28. Urabon-e [Ullambana] - The Buddhist Festival of the Dead
  29. 29. Meditation on death and decay In looking at the following images, consider who the audience for them was.
  30. 30. Meditation on death and decay
  31. 31. Who was the audience for this work?