Mon, Jul 26, 2021

TSUMUGU exhibit highlights Kasuga Gongen genki-e, other Kyoto treasures

“National Treasures of Kyoto” at the Kyoto National Museum

The Seated Five Wisdom Buddhas of Anshoji temple in Kyoto are among the sculptures on display. (From the press preview on July 23)

A special exhibition featuring government-designated national treasures and Imperial treasures owned by The Museum of Imperial Collections (Sannomaru Shozokan, Tokyo) associated with Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is now running at the Kyoto National Museum.

The “National Treasures of Kyoto: Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Japan’s Ancient Capital” exhibit is organized by the Tsumugu Project — a joint effort by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, Imperial Household Agency and national daily The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo) — in cooperation with other entities.

The special exhibition features 72 national treasures and 8 important cultural properties among other assets. It will also spotlight conservation efforts to preserve Japan’s cultural legacies.

A must-see work of art on display is the Kasuga Gongen genki-e or the Illustrated Chronicles of the Miracles of the Kasuga Deity handscrolls, a soon-to-be-designated national treasure owned by The Museum of Imperial Collections.

The special exhibition is held in conjunction with Nihonhaku (Japan Cultural Expo) and will last until Sept. 12, 2021.

The Kasuga Gongen genki-e or the Illustrated Chronicles of the Miracles of the Kasuga Deity handscrolls is a must-see. (From the press preview on July 23)
The Basu Sennin, right, and Magora from the Twenty-Eight Attendants to Thousand-Armed Kannon of Myoho-in temple in Kyoto are Kamakura-period (13th-century) sculptures. (From the press preview on July 23)
Pine Trees and Autumn Plants folding screens by Hasegawa Tohaku (From the press preview on July 23)
The Inabago katana with gold inlay is a must-see for Japanese sword fans. (From the press preview on July 23)
The Landscape with Figures folding screen is one of the first works of art to have been registered as national treasures in postwar Japan. (From the press preview on July 23)
The coastal map from Tokaido to Kishu to Chugoku to Echizen by Ino Tadataka is also showcased at the exhibit. (From the press preview on July 23)
Viewers admire the Seated Bonten of To-ji (or Kyoogokoku-ji) temple in Kyoto. (From the press preview on July 23)
From the Kyoto National Museum website:

The early works of Japanese art that have survived to the present day have passed through many hands over time. Among them, some of the most historically and artistically significant have been designated by the Japanese government as Important Cultural Properties or National Treasures. Officially recognizing these objects is one of the many steps that Japan has taken to protect and safeguard its cultural heritage so that it may continue to be preserved, researched, and exhibited into the future.

The people of Kyoto, a former capital dating back to the Heian period (794–1185), have long treasured cultural properties and played a vital role in promoting their preservation. This historic, quintessentially Japanese city embodies the scholarship and artistry prized so highly in this country. Fittingly, Kyoto has been selected to become the new site for the governmental headquarters of the Agency for Cultural Affairs in fiscal year 2022.

This exhibition is designed to help visitors better appreciate Japan’s historic and artistic heritage while detailing efforts to pass on these precious cultural objects to future generations. It shows the enduring allure and significance of Japanese art through the display of celebrated National Treasures, masterworks from the imperial collections, and other important objects associated with Kyoto. It also showcases various initiatives that have been indispensable to heritage protection and transmission—day-to-day research, disaster risk management measures, and conservation projects—beginning with the history of how these objects have been preserved in Japan.

(Photos by Kazuki Matsuura)

Official website of the exhibition (English):

Outline of the event


Sat, Jul 24, 2021〜Sun, Sep 12, 2021

National Treasures of Kyoto: Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Japan's Ancient Capital


Kyoto National Museum
(Heisei Chishinkan Wing)
527 Chaya-cho
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto


Adults: 1,600 yen
University students: 1,200 yen
High School students: 700 yen
*Timed entry tickets for the special exhibition required

For additional info:
Kyoto National Museum

Closing day

*The museum will be opened on Aug 9 (Mon) and closed on Aug 10 (Tue)

Opening hours

9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Entrance until 5:00 p.m.)
*Evening hours on Fridays and Saturdays have been cancelled



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