Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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『妙法蓮華経』「観世音菩薩普門品」
“Universal Gateway,” Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra

Artist:
Calligrapher: Sugawara Mitsushige (Japanese, active mid- 13th century)
Period:
Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Date:
dated 1257
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Handscroll; ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Overall with mounting: 9 11/16 in. × 30 ft. 8 1/16 in. (24.6 × 934.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Louisa Eldridge McBurney Gift, 1953
Accession Number:
53.7.3
Not on view
One of the masterworks of the Met’s Buddhist painting collection, this handscroll is the earliest known painted version of the twenty-fifth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, which is known as the “Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds.” The text of the sutra is interspersed with thirty-four colorful images that celebrate the merciful acts of the bodhisattva Kannon (Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara).

According to the inscription, this work was modeled after a Chinese printed book of 1208, which in turn was based on an earlier painted handscroll. The anonymous artist transforms the Chinese original through the inclusion of indigenous yamato-e (traditional Japanese painting style) elements, especially in the landscapes.
#8802. "Universal Gate" Chapter 25 from the Lotus Sutra (Illustrated Sutra of The Miracles of Kannon)
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For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Signature: Sugawara Mitsushige (the writer; painter is unknown)
Masayasu Asukai , Japan (1491; sold or given to Yamato-no-kami Oda). ; Shizuhiko Kosetsu , Japan (1951; sold or given to the Fujita Family Collection). ; [ Yamanaka & Co. , New York, until 1953; sold to MMA].
New York. Asia Society. "The Image and the Word: Buddhist Manuscript Illuminations," April 9, 1987–June 7, 1987.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manifestations of the Merciful Bodhisattva: Kannon," 1989.

Nara National Museum. "Depictions of Buddhist Scriptures," April 28, 1990–May 27, 1990.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," November 5, 1991–December 15, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art (Part One)," October 12, 1995–April 28, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Early Japan," 1999–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Enlightening Pursuits," February 28, 2001–August 5, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Paintings from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection," October 1, 2002–March 2, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

Zurich. Museum Rietberg. "Kannon. Divine Compassion- Early Buddhist Art from Japan," February 18, 2007–April 9, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Storytelling in Japanese Art," November 19, 2011–May 6, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," September 27, 2014–January 14, 2015.

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