Shōsōin Repository (photo: Roman SUZUKI, CC BY 3.0)
Shōsōin repository held nine thousand artifacts from China, Southeast Asia, Iran, and the Middle East—connecting ancient Japan to the cultural trade of the Eurasian continent.

The Shōsōin Repository and its treasure

izō Bosatsu, late 12th to mid-13th century, Kamakura period, Japan, wood with lacquer, gold leaf, cutout gold foil decoration, and color, 181.6 x 72.4 x 57.4 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
This boyish bodhisattva reminds us that through humble bearing, we can spiritually blossom—like a lotus flower.

Jizō Bosatsu

Detail, Haniwa: Tomb Sculpture of a Seated Warrior, Japan, late Tumulus period, c. 500-600 C.E., coil-built eathenware with applied decoration, 31 x 14 3/8 x 15 inches / 78.7 x 36.5 x 38.1 cm (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
These expressive funerary objects evolved from simple clay cylinders into animal, human, and building forms.

Haniwa Warrior

Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), Todai-ji, Nara, Japan, 743, rebuilt. c. 1700 (photo: author, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
This massive temple was built to impress—twice. Its monumental timber frame required a veritable cypress forest.


Mariko Mori, Pure Land, 1996-98
In her immersive dreamscapes, Mori transforms the celestial attendants of Buddhist art into pastel-colored aliens.

Mariko Mori, Pure Land