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The World of Esoteric Buddhist Sculpture

The World of Esoteric Buddhist Sculpture / Honkan Room 14   March 19, 2019 (Tue) - June 23, 2019 (Sun)

  
Seated Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja) (detail), Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property)

Esoteric Buddhism first appeared in India around the 5th century. The influence of Hinduism led to the emergence of unique Buddhas with several faces and arms, a characteristic of Hindu deities.

During the 7th century, Esoteric Buddhist faith crystallized around the figure of Dainichi Nyorai (Skt. Mahavairocana), a deity said to be the source of all creation. It was believed enlightenment could be attained through the realization that humans and Dainichi Nyorai were essentially one and the same.

This thematic exhibition introduces this unique world of Esoteric Buddhist deities, principally through items from Tokyo National Museum's collection. It can be enjoyed together with the special exhibition National Treasures of To-ji Temple; Kukai and the Sculpture Mandala, held in the Heiseikan from March 26 to June 2.

 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.
Standing Juichimen Kannon (Eleven-headed Avalokitesvara), Formerly passed down at Tonomine, Nara, Tang dynasty, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)
Seated Nyoirin Kannon (Cintamanicakra), Kamakura period, 13th century
Seated Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Kamakura period, 12th-13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Kotokuji, Tochigi)
Seated Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana), Heian period, 11th-12th century (Important Cultural Property)
Standing Cakrasamvara with Consort, 15th-16th century (Gift of Mr. Hattori Shichibei)

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