Past Exhibitions

Portraits of Eminent Priests
January 28, 2020 - February 24, 2020

Buddhist doctrines, which largely developed in China, were brought to Japan and not only had an influence on the various religious sects, but also the politics and the culture in general. Those who brought back these doctrines were Chinese monks who came to Japan and Japanese monks who traveled to the continent to study under eminent religious masters. Their portraits and the portraits of their teachers functioned as a sort of certificate of the doctrinal transmission. This is especially true for Zen institutions in which such portraits are referred to as chinsō. This section focuses on such portraits dating mainly between the Song dynasty (960–1279) and the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

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