General Information

Exhibition Title Masterpieces of Kōsan-ji Temple: Commemorating the Restoration of the National Treasure Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans
Period October 7 to November 24, 2014
Venue Meiji Kotokan (The Main Hall)
Transportation JR, Kintetsu Railway, Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, City Bus / Map
Special Exhibition Hours 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 5:30 p.m.)
Fridays 9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 7:30 p.m.)
Closed Closed on Monday *When Monday is a national holiday, the museum will be opened on Monday and closed on Tuesday.
Special Exhibition Admission Adult \1,500 (\1,200)
Univ. Student \1200 (\900)
High School Student \900 (\600)
Admission is free under middle school students.
(Fees in parentheses for groups of twenty or more)
Organized by Kyoto National Museum, Kōsan-ji Temple, The Asahi Shimbun Company
Supported by Kyoto Convention Bureau
Cooperated by Bank of Kyoto, Ltd., Kinden Corporation, JR West, Takenaka Corporation, TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.
Special Supported by Oka Bokkodo Co.,Ltd.
Sponsored by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, Nippon Kodo

Images from the Exhibit

Among the most beloved and recognizable of all Japanese artworks is the delightful four-volume set Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans (Chōjū giga), owned by the temple of Kōsan-ji (also known as Kōzan-ji). This National Treasure--frequently referenced as being the first example of manga (Japanese comics)--underwent extensive conservation between 2009 and 2013 under the auspices of the Asahi Shimbun Foundation. In addition to refreshing and stabilizing the scrolls, this conservation process revealed significant new information about the third scroll: the second half of the scroll in its existing form was originally mounted on the back of the first half of the scroll. The current arrangement in which the first half and second half are mounted side by side is the result of a later remounting.

The ancient temple of Kōsan-ji was established by the priest Myōe (1173-1232), a Kamakura-period priest of the Kegon sect and one of the most famous figures in Japanese Buddhism. Myōe was admired for a wide range of cultural, literary, and religious activities: In addition to his scholarly achievements, he also produced Dream Diary (Yume no ki) and commissioned the set of handscrolls Legends of the Kegon Sect (also known as Illustrated Biographies of the Kegon Sect Patriarchs) as a memorial to the Silla Korean priests Uisang (J: Gishō, 625-702) and Weonhyo (J: Gangyō, 617-686).

This exhibition brings together all four volumes of the newly conserved Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans along with a rich assortment of the most famous treasures from Myōe's temple of Kōsan-ji.

National Treasure  Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans, detail (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto
National Treasure Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans, detail (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto)
National Treasure Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans, detail (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto)
National Treasure Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans, detail (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto)
National Treasure Portlait of Myōe (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto)
National Treasure Portlait of Myōe (Kōsan-ji Temple, Kyoto)

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