Originally depicted as a nihizo goddess (Buddhist deity with two arms), today Marici (The Buddhist god of war) is constructed in many forms including in the image of a male god or as a sanmen roppizo (Buddhist deity with three faces and six arms). As the symbol of heat-haze or shimmering light personified, Marici has been worshipped by samurai families since ancient times, Sengoku (warring-period) samurai Mori Motonari or Tachibana Dosetsu used the crest of Marici, while Yamamoto Kansuke and Maeda Toshiie—famous generals from the same period—were both said to be firm believers.
摩利支天立像（もりしせんりゅうぞう） is a type of Buddhist sculpture that symbolically represents the revered and sacred deity, Morishiten (もりしせん), in Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism. Morishiten has been worshipped as a goddess associated with combat, courage, motherhood, and protection from ancient times to the present day. She holds special significance for the warrior class, martial artists, and as a guardian deity for households in Japan.
These Morishiten statues are typically enshrined in beautifully adorned temples and shrines, where they are revered as divine beings by believers and visitors alike. They are usually carved from wood and meticulously painted with vibrant colors. The statues are crafted with great attention to detail, featuring the distinctive attributes of Morishiten, such as her multiple arms and symbolic weapons.
In these sculptures, vibrant colors are often used to emphasize her divinity and strength. The coloring is applied meticulously, accentuating every detail of the statue, bringing it to life. Some Morishiten statues are adorned with gold leaf and precious gemstones, further enhancing their beauty and sacredness.
Devotees offer prayers and make offerings before the Morishiten statue, seeking courage, protection, and blessings from her. Warriors and martial artists, in particular, often turn to her for strength and safeguarding. Parents and families also place their faith in her for the safety and well-being of their children and households.
In conclusion, Morishiten statues are exquisite religious artworks that visually express the reverence and faith towards Morishiten, a vital figure in Japanese religion and culture. These statues serve as a means to honor her divinity and sanctity, providing hope and protection to believers, deeply ingrained in Japanese society.