Greeting from the Museum Director
It is my greatest pleasure to assume the role of the third director of the Hanzomon Museum after Keizaburo Mizuno and Atsushi Nishiyama.
One of the most valued exhibitions at our Museum is a statue of Mahāvairocana – considered the primordial buddha in esoteric Buddhism – presumably enshrined at now-defunct Kabasakidera Temple in the Ashikaga manor in Shimotsuke Province (present-day city of Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture). It was in 2003 that I first saw this image and then completed a paper the following year to attribute this image to the great sculptor Unkei. This Mahāvairocana image became widely known as one of the works of Unkei and was eventually placed in this Museum. As a university student, what sparked my interest in Buddhist statues was my encounter with Unkei’s Mahāvairocana figure at Enjoji Temple in Nara and that led me to pursue a career in the studies of Buddhist images. I personally feel a very profound connection that I am now part of a museum that exhibits Unkei’s Mahāvairocana image.
The Hanzomon Museum is the only art museum in Tokyo where visitors can come and appreciate Unkei’s Buddhist statue at any time. It is an environment for interaction and inspiration with each of our selected Buddhist images, paintings, texts, and picture scrolls. All staff members are humbly and constantly doing the very best to offer a comfortable space to enhance your personal experience of meeting Buddhist art and cultures. We extend our heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you.
Director of the Hanzomon Museum