1,200-Year History on 65 Meter-Long ScrollKiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto6 April 2015 - Temples/Shrines
"Kiyomizu-dera Heisei Engi Emaki," or colorful picture scroll on silk depicting the 1,200-year history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, has been completed and made public at the temple from April 6. This lengthy picture scroll painted vividly with natural mineral pigments took ten years to complete. It will be publicly exhibited from April 25 to May 13. A fee will be charged.
The picture scroll consists of nine volumes. Its total length is approximately 65 meters with a width of about 35 centimeters. This is a picture scroll following up the colorful picture scroll on paper, "Legends about the origin of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, emaki," an Important Cultural Property possessed by the Tokyo National Museum, which was produced in the Muromachi Period. This scroll was painted and dedicated by Mutsumasa Hakozaki, a Japanese-style painter in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, for the 33rd anniversary of the death of Ryokei Onishi, former chief priest of the temple, and for the 100th anniversary of a sermon in the Urabon-e festival, which is also known as the lecture at dawn.
The picture scroll history starts with a scene of the temple's foundation in the Nara Period, and elaborately represents its repeatedly suffering from fires due to wars such as the Onin War and others. It also depicts how it appeared in Kabuki and Joruri, or ballad dramas, in the Edo Period. Events after the Meiji Era, such as the chief priest Ryokei who revived the temple and the ongoing large-scale renovation in the precincts, are included as well.
In the morning of April 6, a Buddhist ceremony was held by monks at the main hall to report the completion of the picture scroll to the Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva, the temple's principal image. Seihan Mori, chief priest, said, "Creating the picture scroll had been our long cherished wish. We want to pass it on to future generations as a temple treasure."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)