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Special Exhibition

Sacred Treasures from Ancient Nara: The Eleven-Headed Kannon of Shōrinji Temple

Image of "Standing Eleven-Headed Kannon Bosatsu (Detail), Nara period, 8th century, Shōrinji Temple, Nara (National Treasure)"

Standing Eleven-Headed Kannon Bosatsu (Detail), Nara period, 8th century, Shōrinji Temple, Nara (National Treasure)

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T5 :June 22, 2021 (Tue) - September 12, 2021 (Sun)

The renowned Tempyō era Standing Eleven-Headed Kannon Bosatsu (Ekadasamukha), enshrined at Shōrinji Temple in Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture, is a masterpiece of Japanese sculpture. Until the Edo period, this sculpture was the central object of worship at Daigorinji Temple (formerly known as Ōmiwadera) located within Ōmiwa Shrine. Even today Ōmiwa Shrine continues as a place for nature worship, focusing on Mount Miwa as its central deity. This exhibition presents approximately thirty items, including Buddhist sculptures transferred from Daigorinji Temple in 1868 (Meiji 1) when the Meiji government decreed the separation of Buddhism and Shinto, along with items excavated from the sacred restricted area of Mount Miwa that tell of the nature worship conducted at Ōmiwa Shrine.

The 1400th Memorial for Prince Shōtoku
HŌRYŪJI
Prince Shōtoku and Treasures of Early Buddhist Faith in Japan

Image of ""Prince Shōtoku" from Prince Shōtoku and Attendants, Heian period, 1121 (Hōan 2), Hōryūji Temple, Nara (National Treasure)"

"Prince Shōtoku" from Prince Shōtoku and Attendants, Heian period, 1121 (Hōan 2), Hōryūji Temple, Nara (National Treasure)

Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries :July 13, 2021 (Tue) - September 5, 2021 (Sun)

Hōryūji Temple is said to have been founded in 607 (Suiko 15) by Empress Suiko (554–628) and Prince Shōtoku (574–622) in what is now Nara Prefecture. Prince Shōtoku earnestly sought after Buddhist truths and built the foundation for the future of Japanese culture. His achievements include establishing a system of twelve courtly ranks and promulgating a set of ethical mores that came to be known as the "Seventeen Article Constitution." After his death, Prince Shōtoku was semi-deified and gained an active religious following. The figure of Prince Shōtoku that we inherit today is this coalescence of history, mythology, and faith.

The year 2021 marks the 1,400th anniversary of Prince Shōtoku's passing, and this exhibition is held to commemorate this occasion. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn of Prince Shōtoku's accomplishments as they take in the beauty of the many treasures passed down at the temple he founded.

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