A Study on the Iconographical similarity between the Gods and Goddesses of Hindus and Buddhists of Japan: A Case Study

Mayna Talukdar

Associate Professor, Department of Sanskrit, University of Dhaka., Bangladesh. Email: drmaynatd@gmail.com


The current paper illustrates the visual resemblances between the god and goddess depicted by the Hindus and Buddhists throughout Japan. Although Buddhism travelled through China and Korea to reach Japan and not directly from India, a prominent and lasting influence can still be seen on Japanese life and culture. The Ṛigvedic divinities, either atmospheric or celestial deities, were later restructured in the Brahmanical literature and remerged as they reached Japan. Hindu gods and goddesses are still worshipped in Shingon Buddhism, and both belief systems are pretty similar. Nearly all Buddhist deities were adopted into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon within Hindu god and goddess counterparts. This paper, bearing above in mind, focuses on the similarities between the deities of two impactful religions of the world.

Keywords Hindu gods and goddesses in Japanese Buddhist pantheons . Folk belief and rituals in Japanese Buddhist Society . Indra, Taishaku-Ten . Brahma, Bon-Ten . Maheśvara, Makeishura-Ten . Ganeśa, Sho-Ten. Saraswatî, Benzai-Ten . Lakṣmî, Kichijô-Ten . Durga, Juntei-Kannon/ Cundî .