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F?ten belongs to an iconographic class called “Ten” in Japanese, and deva in Sanskrit. Originally Indian gods who were incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon as protectors of Buddhism, they often, though not always, appear armed and warlike. These deities reside in any one of various heavens that exist on or above Mt. Sumeru, the colossal mountain that is the cosmological center of the universe. As one of the eight devas associated with the cardinal and intermediate directions, F?ten guards the northwest. Usually depicted as an elderly man, in his right hand he carries a scepter as his drapery, hair, and ribbons billow in the wind.
Private U.S. collection; (Kaikodo, New York, New York); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2012.