Commemorating the 1200th Anniversary of Saichō's Death
Buddhist Art of the Tendai School
April 12–May 22, 2022

General Information

Advanced ticket reservations for this exhibition are not required. However, in order to alleviate congestion in the galleries, the number of people allowed into the galleries may be limited. Exhibition dates are also subject to change. Updated information will be posted on this website and on the museum's official Twitter feed, so please check the latest information before visiting the museum in person.

Exhibition Title Commemorating the 1200th Anniversary of Saichō's Death: Buddhist Art of the Tendai School
Period April 12–May 22, 2022

The exhibition has two installations:
Part I: April 12–May 1, 2022
Part II: May 3–22, 2022
Venue Kyoto National Museum, Heisei Chishinkan Wing
Transportation JR, Kintetsu Railway, Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, City Bus
Closed Mondays
Special Exhibition Hours 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (Entrance until 5:00 p.m.)
Special Exhibition Admission Adult 1,800 yen (1,600 yen)
Univ. Student 1,200 yen (1,000 yen)
High School Student 700 yen (500 yen)
  • Fees in parentheses are advance purchase tickets (available February 18–April 11, 2022). Please see the Special Exhibition Official Website.
  • Admission is free for junior high school students and other youths age 0–15, visitors with disabilities and one caretaker. Please show I.D.
  • Please show student I.D. for student admission.
  • Admission is reduced by 500 yen for Campus Members (including faculty) able to produce I.D.
Audio Guide under construction
Organized by Kyoto National Museum; Tendai Buddhist Denomination, Enryaku-ji Temple; The Yomiuri Shimbun; Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation; Agency for Cultural Affairs
With the special support of Canon Inc.; East Japan Railway Company; JAPAN TOBACCO INC.; Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.; MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD.; Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.
With the support of SHIMIZU CORPORATION; Takashimaya Co., Ltd.; TAKENAKA CORPORATION; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Mitsubishi Corporation
With the special cooperation of Onjō-ji Temple (Mii-dera); Saikyō-ji Temple; Shitennō-ji Temple; Sensō-ji Temple; Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine
With the cooperation of Nissha Co., Ltd.
Special Exhibition Official Website Commemorating the 1200th Anniversary of Saichō's Death Special Exhibition: Buddhist Art of the Tendai School

Description of This Exhibition

2021 marks the 1200th anniversary of the death of Dengyō Daishi Saichō (767–822), founder of Japan's Tendai school of Buddhism. Saichō was moved by the Lotus Sutra's egalitarian teaching that "the path to enlightenment is open for anybody," a doctrine that formed the basis of Tendai Buddhism's propagation across Japan. Saichō established Enryaku-ji Temple on Mount Hiei, an area overlooking Lake Biwa to the east and Kyoto to the west. The temple produced many eminent priests whose diverse teachings would have a major impact on Japanese culture.

On this occasion, the special exhibition Buddhist Art of the Tendai School will be held at the Tokyo National Museum, the Kyushu National Museum, and the Kyoto National Museum over three periods between October 2021 and May 2022. The exhibition traces the history of the Tendai school in Japan, from its founding at Enryaku-ji Temple to the construction of Tōeizan Kan'ei-ji Temple and the establishment of strong ties with the shogunal government during the Edo period (1603–1868). While taking advantage of the regional characteristics of each venue, the exhibition will present treasures passed down throughout Japan and cultural properties that exemplify the concept of universal salvation expressed in the Lotus Sutra.

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