A beautifully illustrated scroll on paper, depicting the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple complex in Kyoto, established in 1602 by the shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa.
Scroll (655 x 1380 mm.; image measurement: 665 x 835 mm.), with endpapers (silk brocade on outside of endpapers), recently & expertly laid-down on new paper. [Japan: after 1847].
The Higashi Hongan-ji Temple is one of the most magnificent temple complexes in Kyoto. Our scroll was created as a celebration of the 1835 completion of the rebuilding of its two main structures, the Goei-do (the founder’s hall) and the Amida-do, which had burned down in Bunsei 6 (1823). The Goei-do hall is one of the largest wooden structures in the world (76 m. long, 58 m. wide, and 38 m. high). The Amida Hall contains images of Amida Buddha and Prince Shotoku, who introduced Buddhism to Japan.
This is a finely executed painting with ample use of gold, now-oxidized silver, gofun (ground oyster shell, giving a three-dimensional effect), fukibokashi (spray-stippled color applied by blowing pigment through a small tube), and many colors of wash.
From the calligraphic legend at the top of the image, we learn the dimensions and number of pillars and roof tiles of the rebuilt Goei-do, the history of the 1823 fire and earlier fires, and accounts of its rebuilding, in 1833-35, and the rebuilding of the Amida-do and Goei-do mon (the Goei-do gate, rebuilt in 1847).
This large painting, which employs the bird’s-eye perspective, shows all the principal buildings and lush vegetation of the temple complex in minute and colorful detail. Each structure is labelled. The painting is an excellent introduction for the student of temple architecture, with the buildings displayed in nuanced views. We can see the public buildings and spaces as well as the private areas.
It might be noted that both main buildings were again destroyed in the Great Tenmei fire of 1858 and later rebuilt.
In very good condition, although there are several smallish holes with bits of the image missing. All have been carefully repaired. Preserved in a very attractive box.
Item ID: 8115