Mon, Jun 22, 2020

TSUMUGU Project repair of Daikaku-ji temple national treasure set to start

The much-needed repair work of the “Biography of Kobo Daishi transcribed (on silk) by Emperor Go-uda,” a government-designated national treasure kept by Daikaku-ji temple in Kyoto, is set to start soon at the Kyoto National Museum. The 14th-century transcript was sent from the temple to a repair facility inside the museum on June 17.

A repair expert inspects the “Biography of Kobo Daishi transcribed by Emperor Go-uda” with the representatives of Daikaku-ji temple. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

The biography of Kobo Daishi (or Kukai), the founder of the esoteric Shingon school of Buddhism, was transcribed by Emperor Go-uda from a text of his own choosing in 1315. The emperor exerted cloistered rule from Daikaku-ji after entering priesthood.

The transcript, like any other artwork, has deteriorated over time. The repair work under the Tsumugu Project will involve mending the creases and cracks seen on the surface and replacing paper backing the silk. The transcript has not gone under repair since 1935. Representatives of Daikaku-ji are hoping the transcript will last another millennium after the repair.



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