Exhibitions/ Art Object

Pilgrim’s Visiting Album

Edo period (1615–1868)
18th century
One from a set of four albums; calligraphy on gilt paper and paper, paintings in ink, color, and gold on paper, mounted on paper, covers of silk embroidery with colored and metallic thread
Album closed: 7 3/8 × 11 3/4 × 5/8 in. (18.7 × 29.8 × 1.6 cm) Album open: 44 1/8 × 11 3/4 in. (112.1 × 29.8 cm)
Illustrated Books
Credit Line:
Gift of Mary L. Cassilly, 1894
Accession Number:
Not on view
An adherent of the Pure Land School of Buddhism compiled the content of these albums—slips of paper brushed with the name of the Buddha Amida (Sanskrit: Amitābha)—on temple visits. The signed and sealed slips indicate that most of the calligraphers were abbots of Pure Land temples in the greater Edo (Tokyo) area. The albums also have paintings of Amida, as well as Shandao, an influential Tang dynasty (618–907) monk; Hōnen, the founder of the Pure Land School in Japan; and a youthful Shinran, the founder of the True Pure Land School. A portrait of the monk Yūten Kenyo (1637–1718), who served as the thirty-sixth abbot of the Edo temple Zōjōji, appears on the right-hand side of a page of one album. Yūten was born in the south of what is now Fukushima Prefecture, and entered Zōjōji as a novice at the age of twelve. He struggled in the academic environment there and left, but later, a dream encounter with the deity Fudō Myōo (Sanskrit: Achala Vidyārāja) is said to have led to a personal transformation, following which he became famous for his ability to ensure birth in the Pure Land for those afflicted by tormented human spirits (onryō).
One from a set (94.18.2–.5)
Related Objects

The Poet Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, from Thirty Six Immortal Poets (Sanjūrokkasen)

Artist: Sumiyoshi Gukei (Japanese, 1631–1705) Date: 1674–92 Medium: Album of thirty-six paintings and thirty-six poems; ink, color and gold on silk and paper Accession: 2015.300.24 On view in:Gallery 224

Robe (Kosode) with Shells and Sea Grasses

Date: early 17th century Medium: Embroidery and gold leaf on plain-weave silk patterned with warp floats Accession: 1992.253 On view in:Not on view

“The Jeweled Chaplet” (“Tamakazura”), from The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)

Artist: Circle of Tosa Mitsuyoshi (Japanese, 1539–1613) Date: early 17th century Medium: Album leaves mounted as a pair of hanging scrolls; ink, gold, silver, and color on paper Accession: 2015.300.33a, b On view in:Gallery 226

Old Plum

Artist: Kano Sansetsu (Japanese, 1590–1651) Date: 1646 Medium: Four sliding-door panels (fusuma); ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper Accession: 1975.268.48a–d On view in:Not on view

Beauty of the Kanbun Era

Date: late 17th century Medium: Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on paper Accession: 2015.300.112 On view in:Not on view