Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Ritual Water Vessel (Kendi)

Ritual Water Vessel (Kendi)

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Made in Japan, Asia

Nambokuchō Period (1333-1392)

Mid- to late 14th century

Lacquer and gilt on wood with incised decoration

9 1/2 x 8 inches (24.1 x 20.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

* Gallery 241, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Henry B. Keep Fund, 2003

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In traditional Buddhism, the ritual water vessel (kendi) was one of eighteen possessions permitted to monks, who used them to pour water for hand washing during purification rites. Adherents of Buddhism later came to use these ewers as well, placing them on altars in front of images of the Buddha.

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