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The Five Wisdom Kings
Godai Myouou (the five great Myouou) is a subject of faith in Buddhism and is a combination of the five Myouou. It plays a central role among Myouou. (Myouou are honorific entities specific to Mikkyou Esoteric Buddhism.) Myouou, originally produced as independent honorific entities, are arranged around Fudou Myouou.
In images such as statues and pictures, often Fudou Myouou is placed in the center, Gozanze Myouou at the east, Gundari Myouou at the south, Daiitoku Myouou at the west and Kongouyasha Myouou at the north. Moreover, this arrangement is seen in Mikkyou (Toumitsu), which has been transmitted in the Shingon sect. But, in the other Mikkyou (Daimitsu), which has been transmitted in the Tendai sect, Ususama Myouou is included in Godai Myouou instead of Kongouyasha Myouou.
Statues of the Godai Myouou were actively produced in Japan, while in China a few works were made. In Japan, Mikkyou was very popular during the first stage of the Heian period. Godai Myouou was enshrined as the principal image of Buddha in the Godanhou ritual. As a representative example in Japan, the statue, which was made in the first stage of the Heian period and is located at the auditorium of Touji Temple, is well known (as a national treasure). It is estimated that the statues were made around 839 when the auditorium was built.« Back to Glossary Index