Praying Hands to Recall Buddha's VirtuesPainting of the Buddha Entering Nirvana Displayed, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
Public display of "Nehan-zu," or Painting of the Buddha Entering Nirvana, began in the Sutra Hall, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, on February 15, the day on which Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, is believed to have passed away. Created by Sekkei Yamaguchi (1643-1732,) a Kano school artist, the painting depicts the Buddha's death. Visitors recalled his virtues, some observing the painting carefully, while others clasped their hands together respectfully.
The "Nehan-zu" is approximately 3.9 meters long and roughly three meters wide. It depicts the Buddha lying down under paired sal trees on a night with a full moon, surrounded by his disciples and animals.
Around 9:00 a.m., priests chanted sutras in front of the painting placed next to the Shakyamuni Triad, then exalted the Buddha's virtues through "Sange," or a ceremony where paper flowers are scattered. As that day was also the anniversary of the death of former chief priest Ryokei Onishi, who was popularly known as "Ryokei-san," a memorial service for him was held.
The "Nehan-zu" will be exhibited from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. until February 21. There is free access to the exhibition.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)