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Fujin (Wind God)


Japan, 13th century
H.59.6 cm
Hinoki wood with pigment

This sculpture is a work from the Kamakura period(1180-1333) representing the Wind God, Fujin. The running figure's hands are extended right and left, and one foot is kicked up high to the back, as it leans forward, full of vigor. The muscles appear to strain, and a breeze seems to ripple the garments. Paired with the Thunder God, Raijin, Fujin is usually depicted as a demon with a big wind bag on his back, and it is thought that this figure once carried such a wind bag. The body of this statue was made by combining two blocks of wood right and left; the hands, legs, and head were made of still other pieces of wood, in what is referred to as "combined wood" (yosegi) type construction. The complicated method allows strong and naturalistic depiction. This sculpture expresses the Kamakura period's feeling of dynamic, un-idealized movement that makes a strong impact on the viewer.

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