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Scrolls of Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals") and Kosan-ji Temple in Modern Times, The Meiji-era Survey and Records of Cultural Properties

Scrolls of Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals") and Kosan-ji Temple in Modern Times, The Meiji-era Survey and Records of Cultural Properties / Honkan Room T1   April 28, 2015 (Tue) - June 7, 2015 (Sun)

  
Gate of the Nio Guardian Figures, Kosan-jiPhotograph taken during the Jinshin Survey (detail), By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, Dated 1872, (Important Cultural Property)

The Choju giga (known as "Frolicking Animals") scrolls, a National Treasure preserved at Kosan-ji Temple in Kyoto, underwent four years of restoration from 2009. About 130 years ago in 1881, these scrolls underwent another restoration initiated by the Museum Department of the Ministry of Education, the forerunner of the Tokyo National Museum.
What prompted the first restoration was the Jinshin Survey – a survey of cultural properties initiated by the government in 1872. From July 21 to 23 of that year, the survey group, whose members included museum staff Machida Hisanari and Ninagawa Noritane, visited Kosan-ji Temple and inspected numerous cultural properties. An entry reading "four scrolls of brush painting by Toba Sojo” in the survey record testifies that the Choju giga scrolls were among those inspected. It is speculated that the need for restoring the scrolls was recognized as a result of this survey, which subsequently led to the first restoration about ten years later.

Through the records from the Jinshin Survey, as well as materials such as copies and photographs produced after the survey, this exhibition aims to trace the circumstances of the Choju giga scrolls and Kosan-ji Temple in modern times. As shown in this exhibition, the contents of the Choju giga scrolls were recorded in two ways: by copying, which was the conventional way, and through photography, a new method. This is probably one of the earliest cases in which cultural properties were recorded through photography in addition to copying. All scenes from the first scroll are revealed on this occasion through its meticulously detailed copy created in the Meiji era.

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Jinshin Survey Catalogue of Valuable Objects at Temples and Shrines, Vol. 6, Dated 1872, (Important Cultural Property)
Gate of the Nio Guardian Figures, Kosan-jiPhotograph taken during the Jinshin Survey, By Yokoyama Matsusaburo, Dated 1872, (Important Cultural Property)
Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals"), Vol. 1 (Copy), Copied by Yamazaki Kunzen, Meiji era, 19th century
Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals"), Vol. 2 (Copy), Copied by Yamazaki Kunzen, Meiji era, 19th century
Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals"), Vol. 3 (Copy), Copied by Yamazaki Kunzen, Meiji era, 19th century
Choju Giga ("Frolicking Animals"), Vol. 4 (Copy), Copied by Yamazaki Kunzen, Meiji era, 19th century

 

Related Exhibition

Masterpieces of Kosan-ji.Temple: the complete scrolls of Choju Giga, Frolicking Animals
Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries   April 28, 2015 (Tue) - June 7, 2015 (Sun)