TYPE: Scroll
COMPONENTS: roll backed on patterned woven silk; gold ink on indigo paper; black lacquer box with later inscription.
NOTES: See: Taisho shinshu Daizokyo no.276; Bussho kaisetsu daijiten, ad loc.
ITEM ID: 403
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Muryogi-kyo or Amitartha-Sutra Buddhist Scroll

Year: 1720
Decade: 1720s
Century: 18th (1701-1800)
Notes: Japan fifth month of 1720

The roll, backed onto patterned woven silk, is written in gold ink on indigo paper, a practice that began in the Nara period (710-795). This copy dates from 1720 according to the colophon, a monk named Nikko of the Jojuin temple, which was a part of the Daitsuji temple in Kyoto, a study temple for monks from the Shingon and Ritsu sects of Buddhism. The copy appears to have been made for devotional reasons rather than to produce a copy for reading. In a black lacquer box the inside lid of which carries a later inscription written by a monk named Josui.

This roll is a complete copy of the Amitartha-sutra, which was translated in 481 from Sanskrit into Chinese by Dharmagathayasas of Kashmir, who travelled to Canton in 401, was in Chang-an by 415, and later returned to the west. The sutra explores the immeasurable meanings of the One True Nature, focussing on virtuous deeds, sermons and merits.

Name: Nikko (a monk)
Type: Author