BRONZE MIRROR WITH CROSS AND HOLY IMAGE

16th-18h cent. Kyushu. This bronze mirror was made with a Kirishtan cross and a holy image in the middle similar to the Buddha. It is not sure why some Kirishtan used this image for their cross instead of a more traditional Western image for their crucifix. It could have been that they made an image that looked like Buddha but to them was simply the image of a holy figure and really represented Jesus . Another suggestion is that the unusual image on this cross was made by Kakure Kirishtans who were secluded from the outside world for 250 years and over time lost knowledge of the tenants of the Christian religion. It could also have been an image that resembled what the Kirishtan knew Dai Nichi looked like. Dai Nichi ( god of great light) was what the 16th century Kirishtan first chose to describe their God because they thought the attributes of Dai Nichi most accurately resembled a monotheistic diety like the Christian God. Another word adopted for the Christian God in the 17th century was "Deusu", derived from the Latin word "Deus". Ancient Keikyo Christians used the word "Alaha" or "Aloha" derived from the Aramaic word for God, "Alaha" or "yehowah". Japanese Christians have since chosen another word for their God, "Kami Sama" (formerly the term for a shinto deity). This word "Kami Sama" was adopted in the Meiji Era. Kanda Collection


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