Past Exhibitions

Shinto and Buddhist Textiles
October 21, 2014 - November 16, 2014

The veneration and affection that Japanese people of the past felt for gods and buddhas gave rise to a wide range of textile genres. In Japan's ancient tradition of Shinto, it was believed that offerings—brand new costumes, accouterments, and furnishings, incorporating the newest and most lavish techniques—should be given at regular intervals the deities to revitalize them. In Buddhism, it was considered a virtue to worship the three treasures of Buddhism—the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha—whose sacred adornment required the production of numerous decorative textiles. This exhibition features a wide range of works—including textiles from the Ancient Shrine Treasures of Asuka Shrine (KNM) and Ancient Shrine Treasures of Hayatama Shrine, and Heian period Seven Panel Kasaya (Priest's Robes) worn by priests Saichō (Enryaku-ji) and Kūkai (Tō-ji), all National Treasures—bespeaking the significance of textiles in Shinto and Buddhist worship.

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