The 1400th Memorial for Prince Shōtoku
HŌRYŪJI
Prince Shōtoku and Treasures of Early Buddhist Faith in Japan

The history of Hōryūji Temple stretches back fourteen centuries. Located in Ikaruga, an area around twelve kilometers to the southwest of the modern city of Nara, it is said to have been founded in 607 (Suiko 15) by Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi, 574–622). Shōtoku, the prince regent of Japan, delved deeply into his intrepid study of Buddhism; there are accounts of his having lectured on both the Lotus Sutra (Skt. Saddharma Puṇḍarīka-sūtra) and the Sutra of the Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā (Skt. Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda-sūtra).


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In addition, he reorganized court ranks into twelve tiers and promulgated a set of ethical mores that became known as the Seventeen Article Constitution (604; Suiko 12). These were contributions that provided a foundation for the future of Japanese culture. While he was held in reverence even before his passing, this reverence developed into cultic belief as Prince Shōtoku became an object of religious devotion and the protagonist of legends soon after his lifetime. The figure of Prince Shōtoku that we inherit today is this coalescence of history, mythology, and faith.


The year 2021 (Reiwa 3) marks the 1,400 anniversary of Prince Shōtoku’s passing. The exhibition “Hōryūji: Prince Shōtoku and Treasures of Early Buddhist Faith in Japan,” held at the Nara National Museum and the Tokyo National Museum, commemorates this occasion. We enter his world and the constellation of beliefs surrounding him, where portraits, relics, and material traces of Prince Shōtoku are gathered together with other important temple treasures and works displaying the great heights that Buddhist culture reached in the Asuka period (592–710) and beyond.


We experience something of Prince Shōtoku’s life and legacy through the material culture of his age and in the visual traditions of Shōtoku faith and hagiography. As we look back towards the fount of Japanese culture and Buddhism in Japan, Prince Shōtoku continues to offer new insights into our ideals, even at a distance of 1,400 years.

NARA Venue

Overview / Tickets / Access

Period

April 27 – June 20, 2021

Venue

Nara National Museum

50 Noboriōji-chō, Nara city, 630-8213, Japan

Hours

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • * On Saturdays, hours are extended to 7:00 p.m.
  • * Last entry is 30 minutes before the museum closes.

Closed

Mondays (Except for May 3)

Organizers

Nara National Museum, Hōryūji, The Yomiuri Shimbun, NHK Nara Station, NHK Enterprises, INC. Osaka Branch Office, Agency for Cultural Affairs

With the Special Sponsorship of

Canon Inc., East Japan Railway Company, JAPAN TOBACCO INC., Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD., Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.

With the Sponsorship of

SHIMIZU CORPORATION, Takashimaya Co., Ltd., TAKENAKA CORPORATION, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation

With the Support of

NISSHA Co., Ltd., Non-Destructive Inspection Co., Ltd., Nara Prefecture, Nippon Kodo Co., Ltd., Bukkyo Bijutsu Kyōkai (Buddhist Art Foundation)

General Inquiries

050-5542-8600 (Hello Dial)

Admission

As a special measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Advance Timed-Entry Tickets are on sale for this exhibition. Those with advance tickets will be offered priority entry. Admission to the exhibition will be divided into hour-long windows. One must enter the museum within the hour indicated on their Advance Timed-Entry Ticket. There will be a limited number of same-day tickets on sale at the Museum, but those with Advance Timed-Entry Tickets will be allowed into the museum ahead of those with same-day tickets.

 

Advance Tickets

Same-day Tickets

General Admission

1,800yen

2,000yen

High school / College Students

1,200yen

1,400yen

Elementary / Junior High School Students

300yen

500yen

Campus Member (Student)

400yen

400yen


  • * Advance Timed-Entry Tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on February 26, 2021.
  • * They can be purchased only through Lawson Ticket (L-Code: April 27 to May 23 : 57100 | May 25 to June 20 : 57200) at Lawson stores and at Ministop stores, by telephone (Automated service: 0570-000-034), or the website up to the day before your anticipated visit. Once you have purchased your Advance Timed-Entry Ticket, the date and time cannot be changed and there are no refunds. The number of tickets for both periods of the exhibition is limited; advance ticket sales will end when these have sold out.
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  • There is no additional charge for those entering as a group
  • The date and time of your Advance Timed-Entry Ticket cannot be changed after purchase, and there are no refunds. The number of tickets for both periods of the exhibition is limited; advance ticket sales will end when these have sold out.
  • Halfway through the exhibition, there is a rotation of the treasures on display. Please consult the Exhibition List and Schedule to learn about which works are on display when.
  • The admission fee for Nara National Museum Campus Members (students affiliated with certain institutions) is 400 JPY, both for advance and same-day tickets. Identification is required upon entry. For details, including the list of participating schools, please visit the Nara National Museum homepage.
  • On the day of your visit, identification (school ID for students, membership cards, etc.) is required for anyone with a non-General Admission ticket excluding children elementary-school age or younger. Failure to show pertinent identification will result in a charge of the difference in cost between the discounted ticket and the General Admission ticket.
  • If the galleries are particularly crowded, admission may be restricted to those with an Advance Timed-Entry Ticket.
  • Tickets for this exhibition also include admission to the Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall and the Ritual Bronzes Gallery.

For those purchasing Advance Timed-Entry Tickets:

  • Reservations are divided into two periods: Tues., April 27 to Mon, May 23 and Tues., May 25 to Sun., June 20. Please check the Exhibition List and Schedule to confirm that the treasures you hope to see are on display during the period you plan on visiting.
  • Up to four Advance Timed-Entry Tickets can be purchased at a time.
  • Certain discounts are not applied in purchasing Advance Timed-Entry Tickets; to use these discounts, please purchase same-day tickets and bring the verification required. Same-day tickets go on sale at 9:30 A.M. These discounts include: the Nara Triangle Museums; KINTETSU RAIL PASS (Plus/1 day/2 day); National Museum Members Pass; Various Members Premium Pass (Tokyo National Museum, Kyushu National Museum, Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Art, Osaka, National Museum of Art, MIHO Museum); Nara National Museum Premium Card (3rd and subsequent viewings)
  • Please refrain from visiting the Museum outside of the window for which you purchase an Advance Timed-Entry Ticket. You can line up in the entrance queue thirty minutes before your designated window.
  • Even with an Advance Timed-Entry Ticket, please be prepared to wait to enter the exhibition should the galleries be crowded.

For those who are eligible for Free Admission:

  • Should you be eligible for Free Admission, you must reserve and issue an Advance Timed-Entry Ticket (Free). Please present your disability certificate, membership card, etc. when you enter the museum. Since only a limited number of tickets are available for each hour-long window, we ask that you be so considerate as to visit the museum on the date and during the window that you reserve. We are grateful for your understanding and cooperation.
  • Admission is free for persons with disabilities and their caretaker. Admission is free for those with a Nara Hiroshi Premium Card on their first and second visit to the exhibition.
  • Advance Timed-Entry Tickets (Free) can only be reserved one at a time.
  • Please refrain from using your ticket for a window of time other than the one you reserved. You may join the line to enter the museum thirty minutes prior to the window you reserved.
  • Please be prepared to wait to enter the exhibition should the galleries be crowded.
  • Those eligible for Free Admission who do not have to reserve a ticket in advance are: preschoolers, members of various associations (International Council of Museums, Japan Museum Association, Art Critics Federation), supporting members, special supporters, invitation holders, free admission ticket holders. However, even these parties may have to wait to be admitted should the galleries be crowded. We appreciate your understanding.

Nara National Museum

50 Noboriōji-chō, Nara city, 630-8213, Japan


  • From Kintetsu Nara Station, walk eastward for roughly 15 minutes along Noboriōji Street.
  • Board the City Loop Bus (No. 2) from JR Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara Station, and alight at the Himuro Jinja & Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan bus stop.
Nara National Museum(map)

TOKYO Venue

Overview / Access

Period

July 13 – September 5, 2021

Venue

Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)

13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8712, Japan

Organizers

Tokyo National Museum, Hōryūji, The Yomiuri Shimbun, NHK, NHK Promotions Inc., Agency for Cultural Affairs

With the Special Sponsorship of

Canon Inc., East Japan Railway Company, JAPAN TOBACCO INC., Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., MITSUBISHI ESTATE CO., LTD., Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.

With the Sponsorship of

SHIMIZU CORPORATION, Takashimaya Co., Ltd., TAKENAKA CORPORATION, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation

With the Support of

NISSHA Co., Ltd.

General Inquiries

050-5541-8600 (Hello Dial)

Tokyo National Museum

13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-8712, Japan


  • 10 minutes' walk from JR Ueno Station (Park exit) and Uguisudani Station
  • 15 minutes' walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Metro Ueno Station and Tokyo Metro Nezu Station
Tokyo National Museum(map)