The Yomiuri Shimbun NARA — The 68th Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures, introducing the gorgeous Tenpyo culture that thrived in the eighth century, opened at the Nara National Museum in Nara on Saturday.
The venue was bustling with activity on the first day, with about 1,000 people forming a line before the museum opened at 9 a.m.
This year’s exhibition features 64 treasures, including nine items that have never been exhibited before. They include Shikko Hei, a jug with a Persian shape that tells of the exchange between East and West via the Silk Road, and Jizara, plates with a vivid green-and-white glaze.
Daiban Zanketsu and Daiban no Ashi — parts of a long banner called a daiban that was used at a memorial service in 757 to mark the first anniversary of the death of Emperor Shomu (701-756) — are also on display.
Prior to the official opening, an opening ceremony was held at the museum on Friday. About 2,500 guests were able to see the treasures.
“Please appreciate the excellence of Tenpyo culture as well as the daily lives of people at that time,” said Kenichi Yuyama, director of the Nara National Museum, at the ceremony. Kazuki Sugimoto, director of the Office of the Shosoin Treasure House at the Imperial Household Agency, also made a speech, saying: “The Shoso-in exhibition is a selection that shows the elaborateness of Tenpyo era crafts. I hope you feel its depth.”
The exhibition, organized by the Nara National Museum with special cooperation from The Yomiuri Shimbun, is open daily through Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Nov. 3, a national holiday). Admission is ¥1,100 for adults, ¥700 for high school and university students and ¥400 for elementary and junior high school students.
Visit www.yomiuri.co.jp/special/shosoin/index_e.html for more details.
[Released on Oct. 22, 2016]