Acala Minus "Angry" Look AlsoFriendly Buddhist Paintings' Exhibition at Toji Temple, Kyoto
An exhibition of works of Kanransai, an artist who draws friendly Buddhist paintings with the theme of Buddhism and lives in Tamba City, Hyogo Prefecture, is being held at Jikido Hall in the precincts of Toji Temple in Minami Ward, Kyoto. Approximately 200 works, including a round-faced Kannon Bodhisattva, Acala with a gentle look and others, delight the eyes of visitors.
Kanransai is from Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture. Dreaming of becoming a comic artist, he aimed at making major debut in Tokyo. However, his dream was put on hold as his father passed away while Kanransai was young and his brother was sickly. "I wished to confirm the existence of the gods and Buddha," he stated, so he continued doing ritual devotions under a waterfall before dawn for three years while working. During that time, he felt a connection with the Buddha and decided to continue his artistic activities with his main emphasis on Buddhist paintings.
After that, he held exhibitions of his works at Kongobuji Temple in Wakayama Prefecture, a temple associated with Kukai, who is also famously known as Kobo Daishi, and Zentsuji Temple in Kagawa Prefecture three times each. This year marks the 12th exhibition held at Toji Temple.
Lined up in the exhibition hall are "Hyaku Kannon," a 28-meter-long painting depicting 100 Kannon, "A-un no Soryu," a woodblock print depicting two dragons which he made praying for recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as other paintings such as the usually angry-looking Acala with a gentle face, and Kannon Bodhisattva with bright, large eyes. Kanransai said, "I didn't draw divine faces, but friendly ones. Visitors from all over the world come to Toji Temple. I want to share Buddhist affection across the world." The exhibition lasts until December 24. There is no admission fee.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)