Research at Baijōsan Kōmyōji Temple

 On July 7th and 21st, 2021, we surveyed and photographed cultural properties at Baijōsan Kōmyōji Temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
 On July 7th, SHIRNO Seiji, EMURA Tomoko, YASUNAGA Takuyo, and MAIZAWA Rei (who belong to the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems) conducted an optical survey of Rakan-zu (a painting of Arhat, an enlightened Buddhist high priest). In the previous fiscal year, we also surveyed and photographed the same painting and presented an overview, such as its history, at the eighth workshop of the Department of Art Research for fiscal 2020 ( In this latest survey, we used fluorescent photo shooting to check the storage conditions and expressions in more detail, such as the difference between the original portion and the portion touched upon later, which are difficult to detect with naked eye.
 On July 21st, EMURA Tomoko, YASUNAGA Takuyo, and MAIZAWA Rei examined a painting of TAKEDA Unshitsu (1753-1827), a priest from Iiyama, Shinano Province. Unshitsu, the 26th head priest of Kōmyōji Temple, was a man of letters who excelled in poetry, writing, and drawing. He organized a poetry and writing association and interacted with many writers in the Edo period, including HIROSE Taizan and TANI Bunchō. Kōmyōji Temple has various works of Unshitsu, such as landscape paintings, paintings based on historical anecdotes, various written documents, as well and Sansuichō , a collection of his paintings. These are very valuable for learning about the activities and achievements of Unshitsu.
 Founded in Kasumigaseki in the Kamakura period, Kōmyōji Temple relocated the building to its current location in the early Edo period. This ancient temple has a bell with an inscription, “Enpo 6” (1678), and a stone monument with an inscription, “Meiwa 9” (1772). Based on this survey, we will continue to conduct research on Rakan-zu and Unshitsu. We at the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties will continue to actively conduct research on cultural properties that still remain in the community.

Gunsen kitsuun zu,
(Immortals eating clouds)
by TAKEDA Unshitsu, Bunsei 8 (1825)
Survey scene
A portion of the painting
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