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Metalwork

"Metalwork"

The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures Room 5  April 19, 2022 (Tue) - April 23, 2023 (Sun)

  
Pitcher with Dragon Head, Asuka period, 7th century (National Treasure)

The majority of metalwork objects are Buddhist implements, which are classified into various categories according to their use. Kuyōgu are objects used for offerings and Sōgu are items used daily by priests. There are also ritual implements used exclusively at Esoteric Buddhist temples and bon’ongu used to strike the hours or to give a signal. They mainly date from the Asuka and Nara periods with later examples reaching up to the Edo period. A significant number of pieces were made in China and the Korean Peninsula or were strongly influenced by works from these regions. The shape and decorative design of the Dragonhead Pitcher are evidence of an active cultural exchange between Tang China and Persia. Other masterpieces include the Incense Burner with a "Magpie Tail"-shaped Handle (which is the oldest example of an incense burner with a handle in Japan), Bronze Mirrors with Seashore Designs which were donated by Empress Kōmyō to Hōryūji Temple in 736, and the Set of an Ink Cake Stand, Water Holder, and Spoon which are said to have been used by Prince Shōtoku when he wrote the Hokke Gisho annotations on the Lotus Sutra.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 8 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight National Treasure Incense Burner with Magpie's Tail-shaped Handle Nara period, 8th century N-280
Highlight National Treasure Pitcher with Dragon Head Asuka period, 7th century N-243
National Treasure Ink Cake Stand Tang dynasty or Nara period, 8th century N-80
National Treasure Shuiyu Style Water Dropper Tang dynasty or Nara period, 8th century N-81
National Treasure Spoon Tang dynasty or Nara period, 8th century N-82
National Treasure Mirror, Design of sea and islands Tang dynasty or Nara period, 8th century N-74
National Treasure Mirror, Design of sea and islands Tang dynasty or Nara period, 8th century N-75
Important Cultural Property Eight Nested Bowls Nara period, 8th century N-263