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The Arrival of Buddhism | 6th–8th century

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

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 1  April 26, 2022 (Tue) - June 5, 2022 (Sun)

Bowl, Nara period, 8th century (Important Cultural Property)

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 6 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight Important Cultural Property The Buddha Shaka Nara period, 8th century Lent by Saidaiji Temple, Nara
Highlight Sumi-Temple Heart Sutra Attributed to Kūkai Nara period, 8th century Gift of Mrs. Tsutsui Kuniko, B-3215
Highlight Important Cultural Property Container from a Reliquary Set Found at former site of Mishima Temple, Ōda, Ibaraki-shi, Osaka Nara period, 8th century Gift of Mr. Hirano Sutejirō and Mr. Ōta Jisaburō, E-14297
Important Cultural Property Eight Nested Bowls Collection of Hōryūji Treasures Nara period, 8th century N-264
Highlight Important Cultural Property Bowl Nara period, 8th century E-14284
Incense Burner with a Weighted Handle in the Shape of a Chinese Lion Nara period, 8th century E-19927