"Treasures of Tofuku-ji" ExhibitInk Paintings and Autographed Letter Displayed19 April 2013 - Sightseeing/Events
The exhibition, "Tofuku-ji no Meiho" or treasures of Tofuku-ji Temple, began on April 20, at Komyohoden, the temple's treasury, in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. On exhibit are an autographed letter of Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, one of the oldest ink wash paintings in Japan, rubbings of monument inscriptions from China in the Southern Song Dynasty (12th -13th centuries) and other items.
There are a total of 55 items displayed, including portraits of the successive masters of Tofuku-ji Temple; "Sokanbon Ryoga Kyo," or the Lankavatara Sutra from the Song Dynasty, which is a sutra from one of the earliest Zen sects and no longer exists in China; and a seated statute of Amitabha Buddha from the Heian Period. Twenty-two of items are being displayed for the first time, including some temple documents, mainly from the Nanboku-cho Period, or Northern and Southern Courts Period.
The letter from Yoshimitsu was written to Tofuku-ji Temple on December 11, 1379. It says that, although he was planning to visit the temple the next day, he would like to postpone his visit for one day, on account of snow.
"Shihon Bokuga Shussen Shaka, Baika Zu," or ink painting on paper of the Buddha descending a mountain and of plum blossoms, painted in the Kamakura Period, is among the earliest ink wash paintings in Japan. It consists of three hanging scrolls, with the Buddha painted on the center scroll and plum trees in bloom on the left and right.
The exhibition will continue until May 6. The main gate of the temple, which is a National Treasure, is also being publicly shown as a special exhibition. There is an admission fee for either exhibition.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)