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Lotus Sutra
The practice of printing Buddhist scriptures on the reverse of letters from the deceased to pray for the repose of his or her soul became common from the end of the Heian period (late 12th century) onward. The scrolls shown here contain the text of a Buddhist sutra called Myōhō renge-kyō (Lotus sutra). They are printed on the reverse of letters sent from Daitō Genchi, the second abbot of Kakuon-ji Temple in Kamakura. It is believed that Hōjō Sadatoki’s wife, to whom the letters are addressed, and some others ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
Buddhist Sutra “Jū-issai-fukutoku-zanmai-kyō”
The hand copying of Buddhist sutras was believed to confer great merit and spiritual benefit, so that from the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century, numerous manuscripts were reproduced throughout the country. Shown here is a volume from the hand-copied Issai-kyō (a Buddhist corpus) commissioned by the Empress Kōmyō (701−60), wife of the Emperor Shōmu, to pray for the repose of her parents, Fujiwara no Fuhito and Tachibana no Michiyo. The work commissioned by the empress amounts to about 7,000 volumes, which include almost all ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
Buddhist Sutra “Bimashōkyō”
The hand copying of Buddhist sutras was believed to confer great merit and spiritual benefit, so that from the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the sixth century numerous manuscripts were reproduced throughout the country. In the late Heian period, there arose the Mappō (age of Dharma decline) doctrine, which held that Buddhist teaching, and consequently the protection of Buddha, would decline. At a time of religious pessimism coupled with the very real decline of the aristocracy, many court nobles sought to attain the after-death passage to the Pure Land ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
Lotus Sutra
This printed edition of this work from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) is the sole copy in existence. It was originally in the collection of Fu Zengxiang, and was acquired by the Library of Congress in 1941.
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Manuscript of a Mongolian Sūtra
This text is a representative example from the collection of Mongolian manuscripts in the Bavarian State Library. It is a Buddhist manuscript produced in the Beijing style, in which a sheet has been inserted in both the upper and lower cover. A silk curtain of different colors protects the sheets set in the recess. This type of book cover was developed in Beijing for Tibetan and Mongolian manuscripts and is sometimes also found among block print bindings. This example is one of the Mahayana Sutras (Yeke kölgen sudur): the popular ...
Contributed by
Bavarian State Library
The Noble, Great, and Cleansing Liberation from All Sins through the Buddha
This marvelous manuscript contains a Mahayana Sutra text from the Kanjur (Translation of the words of the Buddha), i.e., the scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism. It is especially remarkable because it was not translated directly from Sanskrit, like so many other works of the Kanjur, but from Chinese. The translators obviously had no original text from which to work. Accordingly, they did not give the work a Sanskrit title, as was usually the case. Manuscripts containing only this text are very rare, and even in this case a further work ...
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Bavarian State Library