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The Arts of Buddhism | 8th–16th century

"The Arts of Buddhism | 8th–16th century"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 3  August 17, 2021 (Tue) - September 26, 2021 (Sun)

The Monk Xuanzang (detail), Kamakura period, 14th century (Important Cultural Property)

The beliefs and arts of Buddhism, along with its followers, became more diverse over time. In the Heian period (794–1192), the emperor and court nobility practiced and supported Buddhism. They used their vast wealth to build temples and create images for worship, often in delicate styles reflecting their tastes.

In the Kamakura period (1192–1333), the samurai gained political power, also becoming patrons of Buddhism. They preferred Buddhist art that was clear and dynamic, which led artisans to develop new styles. Many common people also became followers of Buddhism at this time, blending this religion with local beliefs, especially in the Muromachi period (1392–1573).

During these centuries, monks brought new schools of Buddhist thought from China, and developed new schools in Japan based on older teachings. Buddhism also became more integrated with Shinto, the indigenous religion. The paintings, sculptures, ritual tools, and sacred calligraphy on display illustrate this diversity in Buddhism.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 6 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property The Wisdom King Daiitoku Heian period, 12th century Lent by Tanzan Shrine, Nara
_MD_RECOMMEND The Buddha Shaka with Two Attendants Nanbokuchō–Muromachi period, 14th–15th century A-12105
Taima Mandala (The Pure Land of the Buddha Amida) Kamakura period, 14th century A-11813
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property The Monk Xuanzang Kamakura period, 14th century A-10600
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, Vol. 4 Heian period, 12th century Lent by Nanatsu-dera Temple, Aichi
_MD_RECOMMEND Important Cultural Property Incense Burner with a Weighted Handle Kamakura period, 13th century Lent by Kongō-ji Temple, Osaka
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