Domestic shrine

Made:
1801-1900 in Japan

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Lacquered wooden domestic shrine with 66 figures of Shinto and Buddhist deities, Japanese, 19th century

Inside this highly decorated Japanese shrine are 66 figures of both Shinto and Buddhist deities. It would have been placed in a wealthy family home or monastery. Such a shrine would have been known as a kamidana or “shelf of the gods”.

The shrine would have been used in ceremonial rituals with offerings to the deities to ensure physical healing and protection as well as financial or personal success for all the family. When worshipping at the kamidana, family members would give simple prayers, offer food such as rice and place flowers on the shrine. It was considered necessary for those worshipping to first wash their hands.

Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A199221
type:
shrine
taxonomy:
  • built environment - hierarchy name
  • single built work- hierarchy name
credit:
Glendining