One of the Million Pagodas “Hyakumantō”.
This miniature pagoda was one of 1,000,000 produced between 764 and 770 CE to give thanks for victory over the Emi rebellion.
100,00 were distributed to Japan’s 10 major temples. They originally housed “dharani”, Buddhist incantations and prayers ~ some of the earliest printed documents.
This example has a later sutra inscribed with the historical Buddha’s name 1000 times and dated 12th year of the Ayahito Emperor – 1829. The two parts of the stupa are turned in similar but different pine woods. Then washed in white gesso.
Only the Horyu-ji temple retains any of its endowment, giving away 3000 in 1908.
The Pagoda: Nara period. 764-770 CE
The text: 1829.
Ht. 21 cm.
Examples are held in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, The British Museum and the Ontario Museum.