Emma-O

DATE:
late 16th–early 17th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Wood, lacquer, gold gilt, and glass
CLASSIFICATION:
Sculpture
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 45 x 40 x 30 in. (114.3 x 101.6 x 76.2 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
Arts of Asia - Japan, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Bromberg Family Wendover Fund in memory of Alfred and Juanita Bromberg and the Cecil and Ida Green Acquisition Fund
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
2008.25.A-H

General Description

Emma-O is a Japanese Buddhist version of Yama, the Hindu god of death. The idea of Emma-O as judge of the dead, who assigned people after death to one of six states of reincarnation, came to Japan from China beginning in the 8th century. This figure has the headdress, robes, and staff of a Chinese judge. Since Emma-O was imagined as the King of Hells, he is shown with a ferocious, snarling face. Yet he was also believed to send a dead spirit to favorable reincarnations, and so was seen as a beneficent power.

Excerpt from

DMA Label text.

Related Multimedia

Listen to a sound design created by UT Dallas students in response to Emma-O