chicago: more ethnographic notes

Dragon king II.gif

The Art Institute has a sculpture of the Dragon King (Heian period, 11th, early 12th century).

I learned today that the dragon king was originally a Hindu god who found his way into the Buddhist pantheon and migrated from India to China, then to Korea, and finally to Japan where he became a Shinto god.

What, I asked himself, is this guy doing stuck in the 12th century? Restless, mobile, transformational, with the ability to leap religions and cultures in a single bound, all he needs is an agent and a couple of appearances on the Ryan Seacrest show and he’d be, er, a god.