May 11 2017

Kohfukuji Special Exhibition of National Treasures

As part of the celebrations marking the completion of its new Central Golden Hall, Kohfukuji Temple is holding a special exhibition featuring a number of Buddhist images designated Japanese national treasures. These include the eighth-century dry-lacquer sculpture of the Ashura, perhaps the most famous Buddhist statue in Japan today.

In the 1,300 years since its original construction, the Kohfukuji Central Golden Hall was lost to fire a total of seven times. The most recent fire occurred in 1717, following which more than a century passed before a scaled-down temporary hall was finally erected in 1819. This building was dismantled in the year 2000 to make way for a new structure that reproduces the size and architectural style to the original Nara-period building as accurately as possible. After almost two decades of construction, this new hall is finally nearing completion, and is scheduled to be dedicated in October of 2018.

In addition to the image of the Ashura, a number of other Japanese National Treasures, including the 8th-century dry-lacquer images of the Eight Kinds of Mythological Beings and the Ten Great Disciples, the Kongō Rikishi (Vajra Warriors), and the Gong known as “Kagenkei” are also on display in the Temporary Lecture Hall. Moreover, the principal image of this hall, a sculpture of the Buddha Amida (Skt. Amitābha) that dates to the late Heian Period (12th century) is being exhibited to the public for the first time. The exhibition will run from spring to early summer, and then reopen once more in early fall.

March 15 – June 18, 2017 (9:00 – 17:00)
September 15 – November 19, 2017 (9:00 – 17:00)


Temporary Lecture Hall (Kari kondō), Kohfukuji Temple