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Thu, Aug 11, 2022

‘Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect’ of Jobonrendai-ji in Kyoto to go under repair

The "Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect" of Jobonrendai-ji temple in Kyoto seen up close

The “Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect” scroll of Jobonrendai-ji temple in Kyoto — a registered national treasure — has been moved to Kyoto National Museum’s Conservation Center for Cultural Properties for repairs. Conservators will spend the next three years to dismantle and then reassemble the sutra with new material to better preserve the cultural asset.

According to Shubi (Kyoto), the repair shop in charge of the restoration, the sutra scroll is damaged with crease marks and stains that were likely made when it was soaked in water rolled up for some reason. The main paper is chipping away, and traces indicate that the scroll was repaired at some point in the past.

The “Illustrated Sutra of Cause and Effect” of Jobonrendai-ji temple (Kyoto) was moved to Kyoto National Museum’s Conservation Center for Cultural Properties for repairs.

The sutra scroll of Jobonrendai-ji is an illustrated version of the “Sutra of Past and Present, Cause and Effect,” a Buddhist scripture that tells stories about the life of Buddha. Experts believe the illustrated sutra is a copy of an original imported from China during the Nara period (8th century). Only fragments of the illustrated sutra exist in China, today, making the copy in Kyoto historically and religiously very precious.

According to Rintaro Inami, an associate curator and expert of illustrated scrolls at the Kyoto National Museum, the writing paper of the illustrated sutra is made of hemp fiber. Conservators have used their skills of today to fix relatively newer sutra scrolls made during the Heian period or later times, but the curator is not yet sure if these skills can be applied to fix hemp paper, which they will be dealing with for the first time.

The repair work is financially supported by the Tsumugu Project, a joint effort of Japan’s Cultural Affairs agency, Imperial Household Agency and national daily newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun (headquartered in Tokyo) to help conserve the nation’s artistic treasures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun and other sources)



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