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Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Mandala

2016 pieces

Tibetan mandala
© Epoch

2016: Tibetan mandala

A veritable cornucopia of little personages (Buddhas?) doing their own things - sitting on tables, growing extra arms, riding tigers, doing the lotus position, or just being geometrically arranged.

The original title, Kongôkai Mandara (or Kongoukai) is the Japanese way of reading the Chinese characters which are the translation of the Sanskrit "Vajradhatu mandala", which means something like "The Mandala of the Indestructible Realm". This Vajra, sometimes called "Diamond" or "Adamantine," is apparently a feature of the Tibetan version of Buddhism; it also appears to refer to four guardian warriors that protect the Buddha, and sure enough, within the big circle of this design, there are four principal surrounding figures. A complicated story, a complicated image, and a puzzle that is only for those who really want a challenge!

A web search on "Vajradhatu mandala" shows many old paintings with this title; plainly this is a modern interpretation of the same theme, but there is no indication of the artist.

Detail

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2016 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: E23006 (23-006 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$30.00 €21.74 £17.96)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$12.00 €8.70 £7.19)
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Achala mandala
© Roukyu / Gaten Project

2016: Achala mandala

Achala (or Acala) is one of the five wisdom-kings of the womb realm, and a popular figure of veneration in Japan, where he is known as Fudou, or "Immovable", a translation of the Sanskrit name.

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

* This puzzle has the same image printed on both sides.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 2016 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: E27108 (27-108 on box)
Retail price ¥3900 (approx. US$39.00 €28.26 £23.35)
Shipping from ¥1300 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$13.00 €9.42 £7.78)
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1053 pieces

Shaka mandala
© Apollo

1053: Shaka mandala

A mandala is a portrayal of the Buddhist conception of the cosmos, and Shaka is the Japanese form of S(h)akyamuni, one of the personages of Buddha. Here we see lots of people doing interesting things; at least one donkey, four elephants, and various dragons.

There is no indication of who painted this picture, though it appears to be a modern version.

Detail

* This puzzle has TINY pieces!

* This puzzle has the same image printed on both sides.

In stock
An Apollo puzzle: 1053 pieces; 26 x 38 cm (10" x 15")
Code: P49502 (49-502 on box)
Retail price ¥2400 (approx. US$24.00 €17.39 £14.37)
Shipping from ¥500 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.00 €3.62 £2.99)
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1000 pieces

Kuze Bodhisattva mandala
© Dev Kumar Lama

1000: Kuze Bodhisattva mandala

A pastoral feeling to this mandala. The central figure, presumably Kuze, another persona of Kannon, sits four-armed on a lotus blossom, immediately surrounded by birds and flowers. The characters at the top look heavenly, while those at the bottom look less friendly, particularly the typically angry-looking Mahakala in the lower right corner.

Detail

* This is a glow-in-the-dark puzzle.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: A10494 (1000-494 on box)
Retail price ¥3600 (approx. US$36.00 €26.09 £21.56)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$12.00 €8.70 £7.19)
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Kannon Bodhisattva mandala
© Dev Kumar Lama

1000: Kannon Bodhisattva mandala

The classic mandala pattern, representing the cosmos, with a ring of fire surrounding the four-gated palace, in the centre of which sits the Bodhisattva Kannon. Various characters populate the outside, heavenly ones at the top, and more worldly at the bottom - particularly a typically blue and angry-looking Mahakala.

Detail

* This is a glow-in-the-dark puzzle.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: A10493 (1000-493 on box)
Retail price ¥3600 (approx. US$36.00 €26.09 £21.56)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$12.00 €8.70 £7.19)
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Shaka Nyorai mandala
© Hiroshi Yagi

1000: Shaka Nyorai mandala

Shaka Nyorai is the Buddha, sitting serenely in the middle of this world-view, and surrounded by more holy figures—outside this inner sanctum are scenes from the profane world, of lotus ponds, music, and the rest.

Detail

* This puzzle has TINY pieces!

* This puzzle is supplied with a magnifying glass.

Out of stock
Resupply unlikely
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 26 x 38 cm (10" x 15")
Code: BM81508 (M81-508 on box)
Retail price ¥2200 (approx. US$22.00 €15.94 £13.17)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$6.00 €4.35 £3.59)
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Shakyamuni Buddha mandala
© Beverly Enterprises

1000: Shakyamuni Buddha mandala

A classic mandala, with literally hundreds of little figures, both inside and outside the circular inner realm. Shakyamuni Buddha is another name for the Buddha, literally "The Awakened One of the Shakya Clan."

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 49 x 72 cm (19" x 28")
Code: B61349 (61-349 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$30.00 €21.74 £17.96)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$12.00 €8.70 £7.19)
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What is a mandala, anyway?

Different sources give elusively varying definitions of what a mandala is: a portrayal of the Buddhist conception of the cosmos, or of just the realm of a particular Bodhisattva? From a mystic significance, the combination of basic geometrical design with baroque exhuberance has given the genre a wider appeal, particularly in New Age circles.

These puzzles all appear to be modern drawings on the traditional theme, but in most cases there is no indication of the identity or location of the artist. Some of the themes are well-known in Japan, so for the Kannon and Shaka mandalas, the title is written in Chinese characters; Chakrasamvara, for example, is not so well known, and is transliterated into katakana.

A web search for "Mandala" will show lots of relevant sites...

Deleted puzzles

For reference: you can view all the mandala puzzles that are out of print in the Attic.

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