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The Arts of Buddhism | 8th–16th century

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

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 3  December 21, 2021 (Tue) - January 30, 2022 (Sun)

The Mandalas of the Two Realms, Kamakura period, 14th century (Gift of Mr. Endō Hisao)

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 11 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Prince Shōtoku Kamakura period, 13th century C-1866
Highlight The Mandalas of the Two Realms Kamakura period, 14th century Gift of Mr. Endō Hisao, A-10431
Highlight The Buddha Amida Kamakura period, 14th century A-1126
Highlight The Mandala of the Tuṣita Realm Nanbokuchō period, ca. 1348 A-105-1
Godōtenrin'ō, One of the Ten Kings of Hell Muromachi period, 15th century A-764-10
Enmaō, One of the Ten Kings of Hell Muromachi period, 15th century A-764-5
Highlight Important Cultural Property Volume 1 of "Collected Stories about Virtuous Monks" Kamakura period, 1323 Lent by Jōfukuji Temple, Ibaraki
Highlight Important Cultural Property Chapter 1 of the "Innumerable Meanings Sutra" in a Set with the "Lotus Sutra" (Called the “Kunōji Temple Sutra”) Heian period, 12th century B-2396-3
Highlight National Treasure Reliquary for a Wish-Granting Jewel Kamakura period, 13th century Lent by Chōfukuji Temple, Nara
Important Cultural Property Reliquary in the Shape of a Flaming Jewel Kamakura period, 13th–14th century E-15502
Reliquary in the Shape of a Flaming Jewel Kamakura period, 13th century E-19893