Smiling in Contemplation : Two Buddhas from Japan and Korea

"Smiling in Contemplation : Two Buddhas from Japan and Korea"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T5  June 21, 2016 (Tue) - July 10, 2016 (Sun)

Pensive Bodhisattva
Left: Asuka period, 7th century (National Treasure, Lent by Chuguji Temple, Nara)
Right: Three Kingdoms period, 6th century, Korea (National Treasure No. 78, Lent by National Museum of Korea)

Sculptures of pensive Bodhisattvas originated in India, the birthplace of Buddhism, and were later transmitted to China, Korea, and finally to Japan. Many sculptures of this type were created in Japan and Korea from the 6th to 8th centuries, including ones that are now considered masterpieces of ancient Buddhist sculpture. Counted among these is a National Treasure preserved at Chuguji Temple in Nara prefecture. Its face, embellished with a gentle smile, is recognizable to nearly everyone in Japan. Another such masterpiece is in the collection of the National Museum of Korea. Made from bronze, it is widely known in Korea as “National Treasure No. 78.” This exhibition is a truly unique opportunity to savor the beauty of Buddhist sculpture from both Japan and Korea.

List of Exhibits

No. Designation Name Amount Period Acquisition
1 National Treasure Pensive Bodhisattva 1 Asuka period, 7th century Chuguji Temple, Nara
2 National Treasure No. 78 Pensive Bodhisattva 1 Three Kingdoms period, 6th century National Museum of Korea

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