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The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

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The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Copyright(C)2000-2016 Joint Council for Rinzai and Obaku Zen. All rights reserved.

Publish the 200 or more treasures of temple, including National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties

Zen Buddhism was transmitted from India to China by the First Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma (Daruma) around 1,500 years ago. It spread throughout Tang-dynasty China under the aegis of the Buddhist priest Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen, died 867) before finally arriving on Japan’s shores during the Kamakura period (1192–1333).

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Huike (Eka) Offering His Arm to Bodhidharma (Daruma)
By Sesshu Toyo/ Muromachi period, dated 1496 (Meio 5)/ Sainen-ji Temple, Aichi
【national treasure】

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Portrait of Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen)
Attributed to Soga Jasoku; Inscription by Ikkyu Sojun/
Muromachi period, 15th century/ Shinju-an Temple, Kyoto
【important cultural property】

In Japan it received the patronage of the warrior class, the imperial family and the nobility, and it went on to have a major impact on Japanese society and culture. The Obaku school, which follows in the traditions of Rinzai, was transmitted to Japan from China during the Edo period (1603–1868), with Zen subsequently spreading throughout the general populace thanks to the efforts of Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) and other high-ranking Zen priests.

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Bodhidharma (Daruma)
By Hakuin Ekaku/ Edo period, 18th century/
Manju-ji Temple, Oita

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Portrait of Oda Nobunaga
By Kano Eitoku/ Azuchi-Momoyama period, dated 1584 (Tensho 12)/ Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Seated Jeweled Crown Shakyamuni (Hokan Shaka Nyorai) and Attendants
By Inkitsu, Inko, and Inju/ Nanbokucho period,
dated 1352 (Kan’no 3)/ Hoko-ji Temple, Shizuoka
【important cultural property】

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons (from a Set of Panel Paintings for the Hojo [abbot’s chamber] at Daisen-in Temple)
By Kano Motonobu/ Muromachi period, dated 1513 (Eisho 10) /Daisen-in Temple, Kyoto
【important cultural property】

This exhibition commemorates the 1150th Memorial of Linji Yixuan, the forefather of the Rinzai and Obaku Zen schools, and the 250th Memorial of Hakuin Ekaku, the Zen priest who revived the Rinzai school. It also reveals how Japanese culture has been influenced by Zen teachings and the contributions of Zen priests. Images of temple founders and many other valuable cultural assets were received on loan for this occasion. It is being held with the full support and cooperation of all the head temples and affiliated temples of Japan’s fifteen branches of Rinzai and Obaku Zen.

The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form

Tea Bowl, Yuteki (Oil Spot) Tenmoku Type Jian ware
Southern Song dynasty, China, 12th–13th century The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
【national treasure】

In Tokyo, total 240 treasures, 22 National Treasures and 102 Important Cultural Properties exhibit.


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Event Name The Art of ZEN From Mind to Form
Venue Tokyo National Museum Heiseikan
Dates October 18, 2016 – November 27, 2016
Note Closed / Mondays

The exhibition is divided into two major terms: 18 October – 6 November and 8 – 27 November
*There will be a major change in the list of exhibits between the terms above and may be few during each term.

Open Hours 9:30 – 17:00
Fridays until 20:00
Oct. 22, Nov. 3 and 5 until 20:00
(Last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Admission [At an exhibition]
Adult: 1,600 yen
University student: 1,200 yen
High school student: 900 yen

Adult: 1,400 yen
University student: 1,000 yen
High school student: 700 yen

Free entry: – For Middle-high school students or under.
      - For visitors with Disability ID booklets and a carer per visitor.

Address Tokyo National Museum 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Contact +81 3-5777-8600 (NTT Hello Dial)

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