The Journey

Nachi Pilgrimage Mandala

  • 72
  • Japan
  • Edo period, 16th–early 17th century
  • Hanging scroll; ink, colors, and gold leaf on paper
  • H. 59 x W. 59 1/2 in. (149.9 x 151.1 cm)
  • Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Purchase, Pratt Fund and Betsy Mudge Wilson, Class of 1956, Memorial Fund, 2004.10
  • Kumano Shrines (Nachi)
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This pilgrimage mandala presents a panoramic view of the Nachi Shrine, one of the three Kumano Shrines on the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula in Japan. Within the shrine's grounds are more than fifty structures and nearly two hundred statues that offer the viewer a guided tour of the places and practices of the Kumano pilgrimage. Following the path of the white-clad pilgrims depicted in the painting, the viewer progresses by a circuitous route, ascending gradually from sea level to mountain peak. The famous Nachi Falls cascades in the upper right.

PHOTO CREDIT: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College

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