The Hanzomon Museum is a cultural facility that was built to display Buddhist artwork owned by Shinnyo-en to the general public.

In the exhibition space, located on the first floor of the basement, Seated Mahāvairocana—believed to be the work of Unkei—as well as a bas-relief depictions of the Buddha’s life from Gandhara are on permanent display. Other items on show from Shinnyo-en’s collection of Buddhist statues, paintings and scriptures are regularly changed.

On the second floor, there is a lounge area where visitors can browse through books or take a break, and a multipurpose room has been made available that can be used for different functions. On the third floor, there is a theater where visitors can enjoy watching films on Buddhist cultures, and a hall designed for lectures has been built adjacent to it.

We hope to offer a tranquil setting for our visitors to enjoy and learn about Buddhism’s history and diverse culture while also finding the Museum a place for relaxation.

Architectural Concept

The internal architectural design of the Hanzomon Museum was commissioned to Mr. Akira Kuryu of A. Kuryu Architect Associates Co., Ltd.

Including the main exhibition area, there are diverse spaces spanning from the first floor of the basement to the third floor above ground. The entrance hall on the first floor maintains an openness that is full of light, which is the result of the stairwell and transmittance glass that is adjacent to the gallery. The second floor is equipped with a versatile multipurpose room which can hold exhibitions and the lounge area can be utilized to browse books or as a space to take a break. The third-floor theater regularly shows films and there is hall that can hold lectures.

As the lead architect, Mr. Kuryu designed the first floor of the basement by picturing a spatial representation of a temple hall that can enshrine various buddhas. He states: “The travertine floors of layered marble and walls reminiscent of a rock chamber help to create a space for nurturing spirituality, calling upon our inherent sense of faith.” The intention behind the museum’s glass walls that resemble Japanese paper was to “allow soft, natural light to be diffused in the room during the day, while having the same light emanate as if from paper-framed lamps, inspiring a sophisticated urban scenery at night.”

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