FUJIN RAIJIN - Wind Gods and Thunder Gods -

The folding screen painting “Wind God and Thunder God Screens” of Kyoto National Museum is called Fujin (wind god) and Raijin (thunder god) Zu (paint) and is registered as a national treasure. The wind god (Fujin at right) blows the wind out of the tare bringing storms and heavy rain to the human world. The thunder god (Raijin at left) plays the drums and produces thunder and lightning.

Wind God and Thunder God

The design of the wind gods was already used for coins at Kushan dynasty (AD 1-3 century) in India and the mural of the wind and thunder gods existed in Dunhuang, China. 

The wooden statue of the wind and thunder gods was built at Kamakura dynasty (1185-1333) in Japan too and it was placed as a national treasure at a temple called  in Higashiyama, Kyoto. A famous painter Tawaraya Sotatsu modeled Fujin Raijin Zu (Wind God and Thunder God Screens) on the folding screen after this wooden statue. When talking about Fujin Raijin in Japan, most of the people are reminded of the one painted by Tawaraya Sotatsu, though few people do remember of his name together.

After Tawaraya Sotatsu, Ogata Korin replicated the painting of the gods (approx. 1711) which was also reproduced by Sakai Hoitsu again (approx. 1821). It is said that Suzuki Kiitsu (a disciple of Sakai Hoitsu) also replicated it afterwards (approx.1830).

The motif of Fujin Raijin spread over Japan by these multiple paintings therefore we can see Fujin Raijin in many paints or statues at temples and shrines even now. Fuji Raijin represents the gods for huge harvest and has lived forever in people’s mind for a long time.

<Temples and Shrines>

Here is the places you can see Fujin Raijin.

+ Tokizan Jikouji (都幾山慈光寺観音堂) at Saitama 

+ Sensouji Kaminarimon (浅草寺・雷門) at Tokyo

+ Rinnouji Taiyuuinn (輪王寺大猷院 二天門) at Tochigi

+  (妙福寺志貴毘沙門天) at Aichi

+ Kongouji (金剛寺/紅葉寺) at Tokyo

The commemorative 500-yen coin for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics features Fujin (wind gods) and the coin for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics features Raijin (thunder gods).

We design and produce various products featuring Fuji Raiji. OEM products also available. Please feel free to contact us if you have any requests or questions on the products.