Wed, Nov 22, 2023
The “Standing Bishamonten (Vaisravana)” of Otokuni-dera temple (Nagaokakyo, Kyoto Pref.) — a designated important cultural property of Japan — which underwent repairs in fiscal 2022 under the auspices of the Tsumugu Project, is currently on public view at the temple. The crown that the statue was made to wear before the repairs started was removed to restore the statue’s original appearance.
On Nov. 18, 2023, Taiki Inoue, a senior cultural properties specialist of the Cultural Affairs Agency, gave a lecture on the statue and the repair in which he stressed that the preciousness of the statue is in its current state. “The coloring of the statue when it was made during the Heian period and the patterns created by cutting gold leaf into thin pieces remain in fairly good condition.”
The temple is also exhibiting its wooden standing statue of the Eleven-headed Kannon, which was designated as an important cultural property of Japan in June 2023. More than 200 documents were found from the inside of the statue when it went under repairs in fiscal 2020, which revealed that the statue was made “in a day” in 1268 (during the Kamakura period). Experts are still fixing and investigating the documents to extract more information. According to Inoue, there are records indicating there was a long-lasting drought at the time. Inoue suspects the statue was made for rainmaking.
Both statues will be exhibited until Dec. 3.
(From The Yomiuri Shimbun and other sources)
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