Research Conference on the 2nd Optical Survey of Five Hundred Luohan stored at Daitoku-ji Temple

Investigative Commission of the Five Hundred Luohan stored at Daitoku-ji

 The Department of Research Programming has started a project entitled “Survey Research on Applications of High-definition Digital Images” and has proceeded with investigative research that aims to create image data that is essential for research in art history and the developmental utilization thereof. As part of this project, we concluded a research agreement with the Nara National Museum that allowed us to survey and photograph the Five Hundred Luohan stored at Daitoku-ji in May 2009 (refer to the article in the May 2009 Monthly Report). We held a research conference on June 15 to further examine the research obtained in the survey in which we invited Mr. Taniguchi Kosei, Ms. Kitazawa Natsuki and Mr. Ide Seinosuke (visiting researcher of the Nara National Museum, professor of Kyushu University) from the Nara National Museum. Our staff members Tanaka, Tsuda, Shirono, Torimitsu, and Tsuchiya participated as well.
 After the survey in May, we processed the photographed images one by one; inscriptions which were unclear during the survey became legible. At the subsequent research conference, we confirmed the inscriptions and interpreted the dates, painters, and dedicators thereof. We are planning a second survey in the coming autumn with reports to be submitted in the following years. Most importantly, Shirono reported on the factors behind the deletion of this painting’s inscription, and we reconfirmed that this survey has significant meaning.
 A “quick report” of the achievements of this survey and research conference can be seen at the Sacred Ningbo, the Origin of 1300 years of Japanese Buddhism: Everything Has Come from Here exhibition ( (link rot) held by the Nara National Museum. A complete picture of the inscriptions in the Five Hundred Luohan stored at Daitoku-ji, along with the background of creation of this painting, will be revealed at this exhibition.

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