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The Digital Gallery of Hōryūji Treasures


    The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures Interactive exhibition space
    January 30, 2024 (Tue) - July 28, 2024 (Sun)

    In The Digital Gallery of Hōryūji Treasures, visitors can examine and interact with digital reproductions of historic objects from the temple that cannot be kept on permanent exhibit. Reproductions on graphic panels and a massive 8K monitor give visitors the opportunity to authentically experience these works of art and the freedom to study them down to their smallest detail.

    The exhibit will focus on the National Treasure Illustrated Biography of Prince Shōtoku starting on January 30, 2024.

    Other replicas reconstruct what gigaku masks and costumes may have looked like in their heyday, offering a window into the colorful world of this performing art, which once enthralled people.

    We invite you to witness how these ancient artworks are brought to life through digital technology.

Highlights of the Exhibition

Graphic Panel: The National Treasure "Illustrated Biography of Prince Shōtoku"

Illustrated Biography of Prince Shōtoku
By Hata no Chitei, Heian period, 1069 (The National Treasure)

Prince Shōtoku promoted Buddhism during the reign of Empress Suiko in the Asuka period (593–710). The National Treasure Illustrated Biography of Prince Shōtoku is the oldest surviving pictorial biography of the prince’s life. It depicts fifty-seven events across ten paintings, which originally adorned the walls of a building known as the Hall of Paintings at Hōryūji Temple.


Cultural Properties in 8K: The National Treasure Illustrated Biography of Prince Shōtoku

8Kで文化財 国宝「聖徳太子絵伝」操作画面の写真

Cultural Properties in 8K presents ultrahigh-resolution images of this priceless series of paintings. Time has taken a considerable toll on the originals, with many of the fine details no longer visible to the naked eye. The 8K reproduction, however, allows you to zoom in on any part of the illustrated biography. You can see the prince’s facial expressions in stunning detail, or choose an episode from his life to view with commentary.

Production: National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (CPCP), NHK Educational Corporation
Available in English and Japaneseh


Gigaku, with Reconstructed Masks and Costumes

Gigaku, a form of masked, outdoor performance, reached Japan from mainland Asia during the Asuka period (593–710). It was performed at Hōryūji Temple and other temples in Nara but declined in the Heian period (794-1192). Original gigaku masks are preserved at the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures at the Tokyo National Museum as well as the Shōsōin Imperial Repository and Tōdaiji Temple in Nara.

The Tokyo National Museum and the National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties collaborated to create replicas of two gigaku masks, Woman of Wu (Gojo) and Garuda (Karura), and two costumes, Skirt (Mo) and Robe (). Experts consulted surviving records to recreate these items as theyoriginally appeared.

Gigaku Mask: Woman of Wu (Gojo), Asuka period 7th century
The original gigaku masks, Garuda (Karura) and Woman of Wu (Gojo), are on display in Room 3 of the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. For their preservation, they are displayed only on Fridays and Saturdays.
Reproduction: Gigaku Mask: Woman of Wu (Gojo); produced in 2018
Reproduction: Gigaku Costumes: Skirt (Mo); produced in 2019


details (CPCP Website)