The Yomiuri ShimbunNARA — The Nara National Museum in Nara announced Friday that this year’s exhibition of selected treasures from Shoso-in temple in the city will be held from Oct. 27 to Nov. 12.
This year marks the 70th Annual Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures, which will feature 56 items, including the “Octagonal box covered with tortoiseshell and decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay.” Ten of the items will be on display for the first time.
The top and sides of the octagonal box, which is 39.2 centimeters wide, are completely covered with tortoiseshell, while patterns of flowers and birds also adorn the box. Amber has been inlaid at the center of the flower patterns, and fine lines have been engraved to depict wings and other details of the birds.
Among other treasures symbolizing the gorgeous culture in the Tenpyo period (729-749) are “Three knives in clustered sheaths,” a set of three knives cherished by Emperor Shomu (701-756), as well as “Embroidered shoes,” women’s shoes with toes furnished with embroidered ornaments. Some people have suggested the possibility that the shoes might have been used by Empress Komyo (701-760).
Meanwhile, “Nyoi of mottled rhinoceros horn,” a Buddhist ceremonial object that was used by monks and is decorated with quartz, gold, pearl and ivory, among other ornamental fittings, will also be on display.