Past Exhibitions

Shinto Offerings and Buddhist Adornments in Lacquer
September 13, 2014 - October 19, 2014

In Shinto worship, deities are likened to humans and are given sacred offerings of the clothing, accouterments, and furnishings needed for daily life. These objects are known as shrine treasures (shinpō). Shrine treasures need to be replaced from time to time, at which point the old shrine treasures are usually removed from the shrines. In cases when the treasures had been donated by important people, however, they were often saved and carefully preserved over time. These are called ancient shrine treasures (koshinpō).

In Buddhism, the term sacred adornment (shōgon) refers to the symbolic decoration of the Buddha's body or Pure Land paradise with wisdom or meritorious virtues; in practice, it means the adorning of Buddhist sculptures and temple halls with sacred decorations. This exhibition features lacquer shrine treasures and sacred adornments that were offered to temples and shrines by the nobility of times gone by--a concrete manifestation of their sincere devotion. National Treasures include Sutra Box with Flowers and Karyobinga and Buddhist Jewel Box with Flowers (both Ninna-ji) and Sutra Box with Flowers (Enryaku-ji), as well as seven boxes from the Ancient Shrine Treasures from Asuka Shrine.

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