Zushi, portable shrine, Benzaiten, Daikoku, Bishamonten, jugodoji, Japan, 1845


Richly decorated Buddhist shrine containing the deity Uga Benzaiten flanked by Daikoku and Bishamon and surrounded by Fifteen Children (Jugodoji), all sitting and standing on a rock formation. In the foreground are the ox and the horse, a boat laden with rice bales and jewels and a cart laden with something related to harvest and riches. The group is surrounded by choppy waters, imaged in makie gold lacquer on the inside and outside of the shrine.

The esoteric trinity of Benten (defender of Buddhism and state) with Daikoku (god of agriculture) and Bishamon (guardian of treasure, defender of the nation) first appeared in the 14th century in Japan. The three of them have similar protective functions and are part of the shichifukujin, the seven gods of good fortune.

In this shrine Benten appears in her eight-armed martial form holding various weapons (wheel, bow, spear, sword, club, lock, and arrow) and the wish granting jewel. On her head she carries the snake-bodied Ugajin, old god of fertility and nourishment. Around her are 15 Children or Disciples or Attendants (jugodoji), each carrying specific attributes that are essential for Benten/Ugajin to gain satisfaction and success.

Benten is sitting inside a glass dome, in the ship of a wish granting jewel with flames (in polished brass) on top of a lotus leaf.

Group inside: Wood with mineral colors (lapis lazuli, malachite) and gold paint, gilt metal attributes and jewelry to Benten and Bishamon, glass and polished yellow bronze. The black and blue minerals absorb and reflect light, giving the group a glow at very low light.

The zushi (case) is decorated with foaming waves, in gold and silver makie and silver inlays on black polished background on the outside, continuing the design on the inside on a gold kinpun background. Hinges and hardware outside and inside in finely engraved gilt copper. On the back is an inscription in gold makie: Dedication of Benzaiten and the 15 Disciples, Daikokuten and Bishamonten on the first day (day of the snake) of the 4th month of the 2nd year of Koka, the year of the snake kinoto-mi (1845)

Case: H 10.5 x W 9 x D 8 in.

Condition: Chip on the roof of the zushi, one hinge loose, but overall very good condition. Inside: One pole of cart missing, horse a bit dislodged and at an angle, but stable, gold and colors a bit flakey, some of the attributes bent. All in all good condition

Due to the glass dome around Benten, which is not fixed, but cannot be taken out, packing and shipping has to be done by art shipper.

1 in stock

SKU: 11034 Category: Tag:
Age or period: Edo period, 1845
Product Condition: Minor damages and traces of age. All in all very good condition.
Country of origin: Japan
Material: Wood, makie gold lacquer, mineral colors, gold paint, metal
Go to vendor store
Report Abuse


Due to the glass dome around Benten, which is not fixed, but cannot be taken out, packing and shipping has to be done by art shipper. Please ask for a shipping quote.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Zushi, portable shrine, Benzaiten, Daikoku, Bishamonten, jugodoji, Japan, 1845”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Vendor Information

  • Store Name: Welcome To Another Century
  • Vendor: Welcome To Another Century
  • Address: 28th Street
    New York, NY 10016
  • No ratings found yet!
Email: [email protected]

If you are not content with an item and you wish to return it, please inform us on forehand. We take returns within 14 days of your receiving the item. Items must arrive in the same state as we sent it, well packed and insured. We will refund you upon receipt. Return shipping charges will not be refunded.

Product Enquiry