807 Schermerhorn Hall
The Tamamushi Shrine at Hōryūji, Japan, features a graphic scene. A young prince throws himself off a cliff to allow a hungry tigress to feed on his body. As one of the scenarios of the Buddha’s former lives and repeatedly pictured across Asia, the scene is all too familiar to students of Buddhism. Less probed is the unsettling question: why did medieval lay patrons support art projects that highlight such harrowing scenes in memorial of their deceased family members?