Passing down the teachings of Zen
The Literature of the Five Mountains The History and Treasures of Shokokuji TempleⅡ

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スクリーンショット 2021-11-17 18.41.41


Passing down the teachings of Zen
November 23th (Tue) 2021 to January 23th (Sun) 2022
Hours:10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.(enter by 4:30 p.m.)
Closed:December 27th, 2021 (Mon.)–January 5th, 2022 (Wed.)

General 800yen/ Seniors (over 65) and University students 600yen /High school and Middle School students 300yen/ Elementary School students 200yen


The Daimaru Kyoto 7F, Event Hall
Access:IImadegawa-dori, Karasuma Higashi-iru Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0898 Japan


Buddhist teachings originating in ancient India passed through China before arriving in Japan. Many Zen monks traveled to China to learn Buddhism and brought back the culture of the continent to Japan along with Zen. The Zen monks therefore excelled in Chinese poetry and became teachers of Chinese poetry for the Japanese emperor and nobles.
In Kyoto, Shokoku-ji Temple ranked No. 2 among the five Zen monastic centers and was the center of Gozan Bungaku (Literature of the Five Mountains) since the medieval period. It produced many Zen monks expert in Chinese poetry. Besides numerous Buddhist scriptures, the temple possesses many Chinese books (non-Buddhist). With so much knowledge, the monks forged close ties with those in power. The temple monks also had close exchanges with neo-Confucian scholars such as Fujiwara Seika. As the exhibition shows, the Zen monks’ activities covered not only the literary field, but also in government such as creating diplomatic documents.
This exhibition checks the Chinese books that have been given to Shokoku-ji and branch temples, and explores the system of knowledge accumulated by the Zen temple. We also have the second “History and Treasures of Shokoku-ji Temple” exhibition to give a comprehensive history of Shokoku-ji. This second exhibition shows totally different temple treasures from the first exhibition. We look forward to seeing you.

Related Events
November 27th (Sat.)
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.Lecture: “The Power of Gozan Bungaku (Literature of the Five Mountains)
–Zen Monks as Ideal ‘Literati’ at Japan’s Five Zen Monastic Centers”
Lecturer: Dai Nakamoto (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Ritsumeikan University)
December 4th (Sat.)
2:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.Slide presentation by Junko Honda (Museum Curator)
December 18th (Sat.)
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.Lecture by Junko Honda (Museum Curator)
January 8th (Sat.)
2:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.Slide presentation by Junko Honda (Museum Curator)

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