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Prince Shotoku at Age Two

Prince Shotoku at Age Two

ca. 1300

Prince Shotoku (572–622) served as regent for his aunt Empress Suiko (554–628) and is often credited with founding Buddhism in Japan. He was considered to be an incarnation of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, in Japan, and the story told about his life parallels that of Shakyamuni’s. This statue portrays him at age two, when, according to his legend, he turned east, joined his hands in prayer, and chanted the name of the Buddha.
Wood with polychrome, rock-crystal inlaid eyes
26 7/8 x 11 1/8 x 11 1/8 in. (68.3 x 28.2 x 28.2 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
36.22
location
Now on view at the Asian Art Museum

Resources

Exhibition HistoryPortland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, "Gift to a City: Masterworks from the Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection in the Seattle Art Museum," Nov. 3 -28, 1965, cat. # 116

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art," Feb. 5 - Jul. 12, 1987

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Hero/Antihero," Dec. 21, 2002 - Aug. 17, 2003

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Luminous: The Art of Asia," Oct. 13, 2011 - Jan. 8, 2012

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Noble Splendor: Art of Japanese Aristocrats," Jul. 28, 2018 - Mar. 3, 2019.

Published ReferencesAmazing X-Ray of Infant Shotoku Taishi. YouTube video, 2011. http://youtu.be/tE1xD0ESj8k.

Fuller, Richard E. "Japanese Art in the Seattle Art Museum: An Historical Sketch." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1960 ("Presented in commemoration of the Hundredth Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and the United States of America"), no. 48

"Gift to a City: Masterworks From the Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection in the Seattle Art Museum," Portland, OR: Portland Art Museum, 1965, cat. no. 116.

Guth, Christine M. E. "The Divine Boy in Japanese Art," in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring 1987), pp. 1-23, illus no. 4, p. 11

"Handbook, Seattle Art Museum: Selected Works from the Permanent Collections." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1951, p. 92 (b&w)

Lee, S., "Japanese Art at Seattle", Oriental Art, Winter 1949 - 1950, p. 89, fig. 2, p. 91

Mayuyama, Jenkuchi, "Japanese Art In The West", 1966, no. 58

Rosenfield, John M., "The Sedgwick Statue of the Infant Shotoku Taishi", Archives, XXII, 1968 -1969, p. 57, fig. 2

Seattle Art Museum, "A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art", co-publisher Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1987, ill. p. 29

Yamanaka & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, "Yamanaka Exhibition of Japanese Buddhist Art", 1936, no. 10, pl. 10

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.