Mon, Dec 21, 2020

TSUMUGU to help repair ‘Descent of Amitabha and the Heavenly Multitude’

Descent of Amitabha and the Heavenly Multitude
National treasure; Heian period
(Yushi-hachimanko, Wakayama Pref.)

Providing funds to help repair Japan’s national treasures and other important cultural assets is one of the principal tasks of the Tsumugu Project. In fiscal 2021, Tsumugu — jointly initiated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Imperial Household Agency and national daily The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo) — will take on six projects, one of which involves the “Descent of Amitabha and the Heavenly Multitude,” a Buddhist painting masterpiece from the Heian period (8th-12th century).

The painting — a designated national treasure kept at Koyasan’s Yushi-hachimanko in Wakayama Prefecture — will be put under repair work to deal with flaking paint and other problems. “Lotus Pond,” a work of Edo-period painter Ito Jakuchu and a designated important cultural property housed at Saifukuji temple in Osaka Prefecture, is also on the list of works that will be restored with the project’s support.

Tsumugu, since fiscal 2019, has been utilizing proceeds from the art exhibitions it organizes with other entities and funds gathered from the project’s sponsors (major Japanese corporations) to help preserve the nation’s treasures. Repair programs involving a total of 15 cultural assets have been supported by the project so far.

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