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Family Gallery
Decorating Chūson-ji Temple


    Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T2
    January 23, 2024 (Tue) - March 3, 2024 (Sun)

    This thematic exhibition aims to make artworks and artistic techniques interesting and engaging for people of various backgrounds. With the theme, Decorating Chūson-ji Temple, this exhibition is held in tandem with the special exhibition "The Golden Hall of Chūson-ji Temple" (Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T5; January 23–April 14, 2024).

    This thematic exhibition explores the decorations of Chūson-ji Temple’s Golden Hall and its Buddhist implements. Focusing on metalwork and mother-of-pearl inlay on lacquerware, the exhibition also examines the production methods behind the decorations. Here, these techniques are introduced in accessible ways using videos, hands-on displays, process samples, and replicas made by specialists. We hope this exhibition helps explore the profound Buddhist faith and the yearning for the Pure Land that lay behind the creation of Chūson-ji’s rich decorations.

Lacquer Decoration: Mother-of-Pearl Inlay

Lacquer objects have been used in Japan for thousands of years. They were decorated with gold, coral, pottery and other materials. This video introduces mother-of-pearl inlay, a technique that utilizes the shiny interiors of seashells.

The mother-of-pearl inlay in this video was designed as a tactile tool to demonstrate the production process. Among the various techniques of the mother-of-pearl inlay, this video features basic techniques that suit tactile explanations. As such, there are some differences between the techniques displayed here and those used in the original work Saddle with Lions.
Mother-of-pearl inlay production: Nakajou Iori


親と子のギャラリー 中尊寺のかざり

Family Gallery Decorating Chūson-ji Temple

This pamphlet is also available at the information desk in the Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T2 during the exhibition period.
Download PDF1.78MB)



Coloring Sheet: Motifs Decorating the Land of the Buddhas

Coloring Sheet: Motifs Decorating the Land of the Buddhas

Download PDF1.31MB)