Segment of Chapter 19 of the Lotus Sutra

Attributed to Kujō Kanezane Japanese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 223

In Buddhism, transcribing and preserving sacred teachings results in the accrual of religious merit. This hanging scroll preserves a fragment of a sumptuously decorated multivolume transcription of the Lotus Sutra. Brushed in ink on paper adorned with gold and silver, the five lines are from the middle of Chapter 19, which describes how the six senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and mind) can be purified by reading, reciting, copying, studying, and upholding the teachings of the sutra. The passage lists a series of smells (香) discernible by believers, including fragrant flowers and trees as well as the odors of different animals and people.

Segment of Chapter 19 of the Lotus Sutra, Attributed to Kujō Kanezane (Japanese, 1149–1207), Handscroll section mounted as a hanging scroll; ink on colored paper decorated with cut gold (kirikane), sprinkled gold (sunago), and silver leaf, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.