Suiten line 6 vam pra line 7 vam Myoken line 2 a Shingon (lines 13-14) (13) Mu ti te tu su stu a tya mi sta u tu stu ku ki stu bha ru te stu (14) ya vi nya stu u tu stu ku ra ra te stu ki stu ma ta svaha.
This is a long horizontal scroll with several calligraphic inscriptions on the right portion of the paper. On the left are 3 figural scenes. The one closest to the writing shows a male figure wearing a large headdress seated in the lotus position within a circle. Next there is a figure with four arms who stands on the back of a dragon. Two people stand on either side- one a short blue-skinned man who holds a bowl and the other a smaller figure who holds a brush and paper. The third scene shows a male figure, seated in the lotus position, who holds a sword, a wheel, a brush and paper in his four hands.
In esoteric Buddhism and other Buddhist sects, chanting sutras is an important part of spiritual practice. The central deity depicted in this sutra is Suiten, the god of waters known in Hindu as Varuna. In Japan, Suiten was associated not only with the sea, but also with fishermen and a variety of mythical water creatures, including dragons and snakes. Here, Suiten is astride a giant water dragon. The fierce deity on the far left clasps a wheel of dharma (associated with the law but also with the concept of fate) and a sword for vanquishing evil. He also holds a brush and scroll, characteristic of Komokuten, one of the Mantra Kings in esoteric Buddhism, known for their wisdom and responsibility. Komokuten represents limitless vision and is commonly depicted with nagas, or serpents like the ones writhing outwards from his hair.
This is a vertical format painting surrounded by green and gold fabric. It is painted in tones of black with some areas of pink and blue color. It depicts a landscape scene with a cluster of small houses nestled in a craggy mountainous area. There is a river that runs through the landscape with two figures crossing a small footbridge. Other figures are shown in the open area of the village. The trees and vegetation are painted with short abbreviated brushstriokes.
This painting was once attributed to Hasegawa Nobuharu (Tôhaku), one of most celebrated painters of the Momoyama Period, whose large workshop of artists decorated the walls and screens of castles occupied by flamboyant military leaders. The rocky outcroppings and dotted outlines in this painting reveal his style, but it is more likely that this work was done by one of his pupils.