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The Path of Buddha

  • Image of "Buddha, Gandhara, Pakistan, Kushan dynasty, 2nd - 3rd century"

    Buddha, Gandhara, Pakistan, Kushan dynasty, 2nd - 3rd century

    Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T5
    July 27, 2007 (Fri) - November 3, 2009 (Tue)

    This display traces the development of Buddhist statues from Gandhara (Ancient India), China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan to provide insights about how Buddhist beliefs and statues developed in each region.

    Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings, known as dharma, of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in India around the 5th century B.C. He attained "Enlightenment" and became Sakyamuni Buddha when he was 35, and spent the rest of his life teaching his insights to others. After his death, his followers continued to practice and spread his teachings. Following his cremation, the Buddha's ashes and relics, known as sarira, were deposited in stupas, originally mound-like structures. Buddhist art developed when stupas were decorated with reliefs that depicted stories of Buddha and other designs.

    Initially, Buddha was not presented as a human figure. This changed around the 1st century A.D. and Buddhists began to worship the statues. Over time, Buddhism spread to other areas, where statues were crafted and worshipped in various forms.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Buddha, Gandhara, Pakistan, Kushan dynasty, 2nd - 3rd century
Head of Buddha, Khotan, China, 3rd - 4th century
Buddha Triad, China, Eastern Wei dynasty, 6th century (Important Cultural Property)
Bodhisattva, Seated with One Leg Pendent, Korea, Three Kingdoms period, 7th century (Gift of The Ogura Foundation)
Buddha, Asuka period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)