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Commemorating 30 Years of Conservation Projects Supported by the Sumitomo Foundation
Special Thematic Exhibition: New Life for Timeless Art

Commemorating 30 Years of Conservation Projects Supported by the Sumitomo Foundation:
Special Thematic Exhibition: New Life for Timeless Art / Honkan Room T4 & T5   October 1, 2019 (Tue) - December 1, 2019 (Sun)

  
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with Jeweled Crown, Kamakura period, 12–13th century (Aichi, Zaikaji)

The Sumitomo Foundation is celebrating thirty years of providing funding for the conservation of cultural properties. To mark this occasion, exhibitions of works that have received funding through the foundation will be held across four museums: Sen-oku Hakukokan Museum (Kyoto), Sen-oku Hakukokan Museum, Tokyo (Tokyo), the Kyushu National Museum, and the Tokyo National Museum. The Tokyo National Museum will host a special thematic exhibition featuring Buddhist statues.
An impressive number of Buddhist statues have survived to modern times in Japan. In mountainous and rural regions, traditions venerating Buddhist statues attest to the importance these statues held for local communities. This exhibition will present Buddhist statues that have been cherished and handed down by such communities, including those affected by The Great East Japan Earthquake (2011) and The Noto Hanto Earthquake (2007).

Highlights of the Exhibition

 

Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with Jeweled Crown, Kamakura period, 13th century, Aichi, Zaikaji Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with Jeweled Crown, Kamakura period, 13th century, Aichi, Zaikaji
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with Jeweled Crown, Kamakura period, 13th century, Aichi, Zaikaji

Though featuring a topknot characteristic of a bodhisattva, this deity also wears a robe covering both its shoulders and has its arms joined in front of the stomach. From these features, we can see that it is the Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) with Jeweled Crow, due to the decoration placed on its head. Key points to note are the natural figure and the soft look of the clothing.

 

Standing Thousand-armed Kannon (Sahasrabhuja), Heian period, 9th century, Fukui, KojojiStanding Thousand-armed Kannon (Sahasrabhuja), Heian period, 9th century, Fukui, Kojoji
Standing Thousand-armed Kannon (Sahasrabhuja), Heian period, 9th century, Fukui, Kojoji

This is a standard representation of the Thousand-armed Kannon (Sahasrabhuja), using forty arms extending from the sides to represent the thousand arms in addition to the two arms clasped in prayer. The piercing eyes, voluminous body, and the ridges of the folds in the clothing are all characteristics often found in the early Heian period. This is one of the primary examples of older Buddhist statues in the region of Wakasa, part of present-day Fukui Prefecture.

 

Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Heian period, 11th century, Fukushima, Sugi amidadoSeated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Heian period, 11th century, Fukushima, Sugi amidado
Seated Amida Nyorai (Amitabha), Heian period, 11th century, Fukushima, Sugi amidado

This work was passed down at the Sugi Amida Hall managed by the Etari administrative ward of Minamisoma, Fukushima. Several features are characterstic of the late Heian period: the low nikukei (the round protrusion on the head), the roundness of the head together with the plump cheeks, and the thinness around the knees.

 

Seated Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Kamakura period, 13–14th century, Fukushima, RyogonjiSeated Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Standing Kasho (Kasyapa) and Standing Anan (Ananda), Kamakura period, 13–14th century, Fukushima, Ryogonji  Standing Kasho (Kasyapa) and Standing Anan (Ananda), Kamakura period, 13–14th century, Fukushima, Ryogonji
Seated Shaka Nyorai (Sakyamuni), Kamakura period, 13–14th century, Fukushima, Ryogonji
Standing Kasho (Kasyapa) and Standing Anan (Ananda), Kamakura period, 13–14th century, Fukushima, Ryogonji

This Shaka Triad was repaired after sustaining damage due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. An inscription is present behind the lotus-leaf pedestals of the attendants, indicating that the triad was made around 1330, in the late Kamakura period.

 

Seated Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha), Heian period, 11th century, Ibarakk, Makabecho yamaguchichikuSeated Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha), Heian period, 11th century, Ibarakk, Makabecho yamaguchichiku
Seated Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha), Heian period, 11th century, Ibarakk, Makabecho yamaguchichiku

The crown and sword in the right hand indicate that the statue is of Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha), possessor of boundless wisdom. The use of a single piece of kaya wood to carve both the head and body reflects an old style. However, the rounded face and the lightly carved clothing indicate that it was made in the late Heian period.

 

Standing Eleven-headed Kannon (Ekadasamukha), Kamakura period, dated 1283, Fukushima, SenryujiStanding Eleven-headed Kannon (Ekadasamukha), Kamakura period, dated 1283, Fukushima, Senryuji
Standing Eleven-headed Kannon (Ekadasamukha), Kamakura period, dated 1283, Fukushima, Senryuji

This sculpture is worshiped as "Satomamori-butsu" (literally “village-protecting Buddha”) on a small mountain near the coast of Minamisoma, Fukushima. The puffed cheeks and egg-shaped head are distinctive features. The sculpture contains an inscription with the year 1283, indicating it was made around that time.

 

 

General Information

Period October 1–December 1, 2019
Venue Honkan Rooms T4 and T5, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)
Hours 9:30–17:00
Fridays, Saturdays, November 3, and November 4: until 21:00
(Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed Mondays (Except for October 14 and November 4),
November 5
Admission

Admission to ''New Life for Timeless Art'' is included in tickets for the regular and special exhibitions (if visited on the same day).

Adults: 620 (520) yen
University students: 410 (310) yen


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() indicates fees per person for groups of 20 or more.

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Adults accompanying children of high-school age and under receive a 100-yen discount on Regular Exhibition admissions. (Valid for up to two adults with each child.)

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Persons with disabilities and one person accompanying each are admitted free of charge (please show ID when entering).

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Admission is free for senior high/junior high/elementary school students and persons under 18 and over 70 years of age (please show proof of age when entering).

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Free admission to the regular exhibitions on September 16, 2019 (excluding special exhibitions).

Access 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Nezu Station
Organizers Tokyo National Museum, Sumitomo Foundation,
Sumitomo Group companies, Yomiuri Shimbun
With the Cooperation of Agency for Cultural Affairs, Bijyutsuin,
the Association for Conservation of National Treasures
General Inquiries 03-5777-8600  (Hello Dial)

 

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