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Tue, Feb 20, 2024

Exhibition featuring treasures of Jingo-ji temple to be held this summer in Tokyo

In commemoration of the 1,200th anniversary in 2024 of its founding, the Jingo-ji temple (Kyoto) will host an exhibition featuring the many treasures of the esoteric Shingon Buddhist temple — including its principal image of worship, the standing statue of Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of medicine) — to be held at the Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park, Tokyo) this summer.

Kosho Taniuchi (right), the head priest of Jingo-ji temple, and Ryusuke Asami, the vice director of Tokyo National Museum, were among the organizers announcing the plan to hold a special exhibition featuring the treasures of the Shingon Buddhist temple.
(Photo by Kazuki Matsuura)

The temple, the museum, The Yomiuri Shimbun and others jointly made an announcement in Tokyo on Feb. 14, 2024, to co-organize a special exhibition entitled “Jingoji: The Dawn of Shingon Buddhism,” which is set to run from July 17 to Sept. 8. The exhibition will be held also to mark the 1,250th anniversary of the birth of priest Kukai (774-835; posthumously known by his title Kobo Daishi), the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism in Japan.

Jingo-ji, located in the northwestern area of Kyoto city, is today known by many for its great view of autumn foliage. During the medieval Heian period, the temple (then Takaosan-ji) temporarily became a base of activity for Kukai, who stayed there after his trip to Tang dynasty China.

The standing statue of Yakushi Nyorai (a designated national treasure), which is said to be the magnum opus of early Heian sculptures, will go on public view outside the temple for the very first time. The “Mandalas of the Two Worlds” (known as the Takao Mandara; collectively designated as a national treasure), the only existing mandalas said to have been designed by Kukai himself, will also be exhibited. The mandalas went under conservation for six years starting in 2016.

The exhibition will be held in conjunction with the Tsumugu Project, a joint effort between Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency, Imperial Household Agency and national newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun to restore, preserve and promote the nation’s artistic treasures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun and other sources)



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