Sutra on Transforming Women into Buddhas (detail), Heian period, 12th century
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 3
February 1, 2022 (Tue) - March 13, 2022 (Sun)
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.
|Prince Shōtoku||Kamakura period, 13th century||C-1866|
|Highlight||The Buddha Entering Nirvana||Kamakura period, 14th century||A-11354|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||The Buddha Entering Nirvana||Kamakura period, 12th–13th century||Lent by Shinyakushiji Temple, Nara|
|The Buddha Śākyamuni with Two Attendants and the Sixteen Arhats||Kamakura period, 14th century||A-262|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||The Bodhisattva Kōshō (Priest Eizon)||Kamakura period, 14th century||Lent by Shitsusenji Temple, Tokyo|
|Highlight||The Buddha Śākyamuni with Two Attendants||Nanbokuchō period, 14th century||A-202|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||The First of the Sixteen Arhats||Kamakura period, 13th–14th century||Lent by Tenshinji Temple, Tokyo|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||The Second of the Sixteen Arhats||Kamakura period, 13th–14th century||Lent by Tenshinji Temple, Tokyo|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Volume 22 of "The Biography of the Monk Hōnen"||Muromachi period, 15th century||Lent by Okunoin, Taima Temple|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Volume 23 of "The Biography of the Monk Hōnen"||Muromachi period, 15th century||Lent by Okunoin, Taima Temple|
|Highlight||Sutra on Transforming Women into Buddhas||Heian period, 12th century||B-1291|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Heart Sutra of the Divine Incantation of Amoghapāśa||By Saionji Kinhira (1264–1315)||Kamakura period, 1306||B-2452|
|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|