Past Exhibitions

National Treasure Emaki: Japan’s Most Cherished Illustrated Handscrolls
September 13, 2014 - October 13, 2014

The distinctive compositions of illustrated handscrolls, called emaki in Japanese, relate to the way in which these paintings are meant to be viewed: with scenes unfurling in a continuous stream as they are unrolled from right to left. The masterworks on view in this exhibition--including Illustrated Biography of the Priest Ippen (Shōjōkō-ji, Yugyō-ji) Illustrated Biography of the Priest Hōnen (Chion-in), and Tales of Hungry Ghosts (KNM)--offer a unique opportunity to consider depictions of Kyoto's temples and shrines, which bring together architectural grandeur, the beauty of natural scenery, and the bustle of people gathered outside their gates. As you virtually pass through the front gate of a temple or the torii gate of a shrine and move towards the main hall of worship, you may find yourself forgetting the real world around and entering instead into the temporal and spatial realm of the emaki.

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