West Garden

Early stone Buddhas, foundation stones, and bridge posts can be found in the West Garden, located in the southwest corner of museum grounds. View this outdoor exhibit, while taking a short walk or break.

West Garden

Stone Lantern
  • Stone Lantern
    Stone Lantern
  • Japan, Kamakura period (1185-1333)
    Gift of Hiroshi Yamaoka
    Kyoto National Museum
  • This lantern originally lit the entrance to a Buddhist hall.
Christian Tombstones
  • Christian Tombstones
    Christian Tombstones
  • Japan, Edo period, 17th century
    *Discovered on the grounds of An'yo-in Temple, Kyoto
    *Discovered on the grounds of Seigan-ji Temple, Kyoto
    Gift of Fujii Teruhisa
    Kyoto National Museum
  • These tombstones were made for Japanese Christians in the Keichō era (1596-1615). Most of these grave markers were destroyed in the Edo period (1616-1867), during the persecution of Christians by the Tokugawa government. Carved on the front of the stones are a cross, the letters IHS (representing the Latin for the followers of Christ), the Western year of death, and the baptismal name of the deceased.
Amida Triad
  • Amida Triad
    Amida Triad
  • Japan, Heian period, 12th century
    Excavated from Takeda-cho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
    Anrakuju-in
  • The Buddha Amida (Skt., Amitabha) sits here flanked by his two attendant bodhisattvas, Kannon (Skt., Avalokitesvara) and Seishi (Skt., Mahasthamaprapta). Belief in Amida's Pure Land (J., Jodo) in the Western Paradise was popular during the late Heian period (794-1185), when it was believed that Buddhism had entered the degenerate age of mappo, the end of the Buddhist teaching. Many Amida triad images were produced during this time, though examples in stone, such as this, are rare.
Stone Bridge Pillars
  • Stone Bridge Pillars
    Stone Bridge Pillars
  • Japan, Momoyama period (1573-1615)
    Kyoto National Museum
    *Pillars from Gojo Bridge
    *Pillar from Sanjo Bridge with inscription, Tenshō 17 (1589), Tsu no kuni Mikage, auspicious day of the seventh month
Gojo Bridge Pillars and Beam
  • Gojo Bridge Pillars and Beam
    Gojo Bridge Pillars and Beam
  • Inscription, "Tsu no kuni Mikage, auspicious day of the fifth month of Tensho 17 (1589)" Japan, Momoyama period (1392-1572)
    Kyoto National Museum
  • The pillars and beams, dated Tensho 17 (1589), were part of the construction project of the Great Gojo Bridge across the Kamo River in Kyoto by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-98). Inscribed on the front are four characters, Tsu no kuni Mikage, which indicate that it was transported from Mikage (present-day Kobe City) of Settsu Province (known in ancient times as Tsu no kuni).
Foundation Stone
  • Foundation Stone
    Foundation Stone
  • Kyoto National Museum
Iron Ring for the Former Hoko-ji Temple Buddha Hall
  • Iron Ring for the Former Hoko-ji Temple Buddha Hall
    Iron Ring for the Former Hoko-ji Temple Buddha Hall
  • Japan, Momoyama period, 17th century
    Kyoto National Museum
  • This iron ring served as building material for the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi's (1536-98) construction project of the Buddha Hall for Hoko-ji Temple, which was formerly built where the Kyoto National Museum stands today. Such metal rings as this supported large wooden pillars for colossal architectural structures as the former Buddha Hall.
Stone Track for the Tokaido Highway
  • Stone Track for the Tokaido Highway
    Stone Track for the Tokaido Highway
  • Japan, Edo period, 18th-19th century
    Excavated from near Kujoyama, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
    Gift of Kurozumi Ryushiro
    Kyoto National Museum
  • During the Edo period (1616-1867), stone tracks (J., kuruma ishi, literally cart stones, also known as wa ishi, "wheel stones") were laid out in pairs and served as rails for ox- and horse-drawn carriages. In Kyoto, these stones with a concave cut were placed along major roads such as those leading to the Tokaido and Takeda Highways.
Foundation Stone
  • Foundation Stone
    Foundation Stone
  • Excavated from the southwest corner of the Museum
    Kyoto National Museum
Hoko-ji Temple Paving Stone
  • Hoko-ji Temple Paving Stone
    Hoko-ji Temple Paving Stone
  • Japan, Momoyama period, 17th century
    Kyoto National Museum
Heiankyo Building Stone
  • Heiankyo Building Stone
    Heiankyo Building Stone
  • Excavated near Senbon Marutamachi, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto
    Japan, Early Heian period (794-1185)
    Gift of Kurozumi Ryushiro
    Kyoto National Museum
Stone Epitaph
  • Stone Epitaph
    Stone Epitaph
  • With inscription, Enkyo 2 (1309)
    Kyoto National Museum
House-shaped Coffin
  • House-shaped Coffin
    House-shaped Coffin
  • Excavated from Osofunemachi, Oku County, Okayama Prefecture
    Japan, Kofun period, 6th century
  • This late-Kofun period stone coffin, dated to around the 6th century, was found in an inner stone burial chamber. Its small size suggests that it was made for a child.
Fudo Myoo (Skt., Acala)
  • Fudo Myoo (Skt., Acala)
    Fudo Myoo (Skt., Acala)
  • Japan, Muromachi period (1392-1572)
Foundation Stone
  • Foundation Stone
    Foundation Stone
  • Excavated from Saki-cho, Nara City
    Japan, Nara period
    Kyoto National Museum
Seated Jizo (Skt., Kstigarbha)
  • Seated Jizo (Skt., Kstigarbha)
    Seated Jizo (Skt., Kstigarbha)
  • Japan, Kamakura period (1185-1333)
    Gift of Michi Kamiya
    Kyoto National Museum
Octagonal Bronze Lantern
  • Octagonal Bronze Lantern
    Octagonal Bronze Lantern
  • (Replica of a National Treasure)
    Todai-ji Temple
    Kyoto National Museum
Boundary Stone between Yamashiro and Tanba Provinces
  • Octagonal Bronze Lantern
    Octagonal Bronze Lantern
  • Japan, Edo period,
    19th century
  • This stone marker stood at Oinosaka Pass (today in Nishigyo-ku, Kyoto), the western entrance to the early capital of Kyoto. The inscription reads, "East of this point lies Yamashiro Province," suggesting that it once directed travelers heading from Kameyama (present-day Kameoka City) in Tanba Province to the capital.

A Message to Museum Visitors

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