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The Arrival of Buddhism | 6th–8th century

"The Arrival of Buddhism | 6th–8th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 1  December 21, 2021 (Tue) - January 30, 2022 (Sun)

  
Bodhisattva with One Leg Pendent
Found on Mount Nachi, Wakayama, Asuka period, 7th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshirō and two others)

Japan's leaders transformed their society by adopting Buddhism and other foreign cultures and practices. Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha in ancient India around 500 BC. Later it spread throughout Asia and was introduced to Japan from the Korean Peninsula in the 6th century AD.

In the Asuka period (593–710), people from the Korean Peninsula brought advanced knowledge to Japan. They included monks, scholars, and artisans, who brought technology, scholarship, artistic traditions, and Buddhist teachings. Under the leadership of the emperor and powerful clans, Buddhism began to flourish as temples were built and sacred images created.

In the Nara period (710–794), Japan’s leaders emulated the Buddhist culture that was thriving in China. In the capital of Nara, the emperor oversaw the creation of a giant buddha sculpture at Tōdaiji Temple, the symbol of a state now unified under Buddhism. The sculptures, ritual tools, sacred texts, and other works on display illustrate these two periods of rapid change.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 9 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Bodhisattva with One Leg Pendent Found on Mount Nachi, Wakayama Asuka period, 7th century Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshirō and two others, E-14846
Buddha Collection of Hōryūji Treasures Asuka period, 7th century N-193
Highlight Important Cultural Property Volume 317 of the "Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra" (Called the “Yakushiji Temple Sutra”) Nara period, 8th century Lent by Yakushiji Temple, Nara
Highlight National Treasure Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kōfukuji Temple, Strips of Beaten Gold Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara Nara period, 8th century E-4303
National Treasure Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Eight-Lobed Mirror with Auspicious Flowers and Paired Phoenixes Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara Tang dynasty, 8th century E-14255
Highlight National Treasure Ritual Objects Used to Consecrate the Site of Kohfukuji Temple, Large Gilt-Bronze Bowl Excavated from under altar of Main Hall at Kohfukuji, Nara Nara period, 8th century E-14260
Highlight Important Cultural Property Bowl Nara period, 8th century E-14284
Important Cultural Property Eight Nested Bowls Collection of Hōryūji Treasures Nara period, 8th century N-264
Incense Burner with Weighted Handle in the Shape of a Chinese Lion Nara period, 8th century E-19927