Past Exhibitions

Illustrated Biography of the Priest Hōnen and Shinran, the Gugan Edition
February 20, 2018 - March 18, 2018

The priest Hōnen (1133–1212) was founder of the Jōdo Shū (“Pure Land”) sect of Buddhism. His disciple Shinran (1173–1263) founded the Jōdo Shinshū (“True Pure Land”) sect. Since the Kamakura period, artists have visually recorded various stories about these Buddhist patriarchs in the form of handscrolls and hanging scrolls, using a range of artistic styles. One such set of handscrolls is known as the Gugan edition because it appears to have been sponsored by someone named Shaku Gugan—probably a Jōdo Shinshū monk based in Eastern Japan. The scrolls dealing with Hōnen were painted by a different artist than those depicting Shinran, but all of the scrolls of the Gugan edition are distinguished for their intricate depiction of human figures.

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