Special Exhibition

Selected artworks

Nyoirin Kannon and Nidoji : Buddhist Art on First Public Display
November 22,2023-April 14,2024

Two sets of Heian buddha images from Daigoji Temple in Kyoto will be a new addition to the Museum’s permanent exhibition “The World of Reflection” launched with our new special exhibition. The recent repair works of Nyoirin Kannon
(Cintāmaṇicakra Avalokiteśvara) in a rare seated posture revealed its original countenance when it was sculpted in the tenth century. The eleventh to twelfth-century pair of standing Nidoji (Kiṃkara, Ceṭaka) is a sophisticated example of the two acolytes of Acalanātha.
The special exhibition features Buddhist sutras, sculptures, and paintings on first public display including the 14 Sanskrit Sounds in Chapter 12 on The Nature of Tathāgatas of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra, Tathāgata from Northern Qi dynasty, and Taima Mandala. Together with our permanent exhibition The World of Reflection, it offers an opportunity to fully experience the Buddhist art of the Hanzomon Museum.

Seated Cintāmaṇicakra AvalokiteśvaraSeated Cintāmaṇicakra Avalokiteśvara

Seated Cintāmaṇicakra Avalokiteśvara
(Nyoirin Kannon)

Heian period, 10th century
Unlike the typical royal ease position, this bodhisattva takes a rare half-lotus seated posture of having the right leg folded and the left leg pendant.
Standing NidojiStanding Nidoji

Standing Nidoji
(Kiṃkara, Ceṭaka)

Heian period, 11th - 12th century
Kiṃkara and Ceṭaka are a pair of acolytes accompanying Acalanātha. They were created separately from the Museum’s Acalanātha image.
Taima MandalaTaima Mandala

Taima Mandala

Muromachi period, 16th century
Buddhas and bodhisattvas are illustrated with delicate and detailed brushwork. Bottom right is Chujo-hime, a legendary creator of the mandala depicted as a nun.
TathāgataTathāgata

Tathāgata (Nyorai)

Northern Qi dynasty, China, 6th century
This standing tathāgata was originally a high relief image with a whole-body aureole. More than a dozen names of “bhiksunīs (ordained nuns)” are incised on the back side.
The 14 Sanskrit Sounds in Chapter 12 on The Nature of Tathāgatas of the Mahāparinirvāṇa SūtraThe 14 Sanskrit Sounds in Chapter 12 on The Nature of Tathāgatas of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

The 14 Sanskrit Sounds in Chapter 12 on The Nature of Tathāgatas of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra
(Dai-hatsunehangyo, Nyoraishobon 14 ongi)

Heian to Kamakura period, 12th century
A commentary on the pronounced sounds of Sanskrit terms referred to in “The Nature of Tathāgatas,” formerly owned by a scholar monk at Ishiyamadera, a Shingon temple.
Vaiśravaṇa with Eight SwordsVaiśravaṇa with Eight Swords

Vaiśravaṇa with Eight Swords
(Tohachi Bishamonten)

Edo period, Tenpo 4 (1833)
An unusual form of Vaiśravaṇa with three faces and twelve arms rides on a lion, holding eight swords.

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