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A gilt Goryeo Buddhist painting returns home in 500 years

A gilt Goryeo Buddhist painting returns home in 500 years

Posted October. 22, 2013 04:32,   


A gold-coated painting of the Goryeo Dynasty, which was sent to Japan in early 16th century, returns to its home land in about 500 years. The Dongguk University Museum said on Monday, “We invite Geumseonmyo Amida Samjondo (gilt Amida Buddha Triad), which was confirmed to have been made in the eighth year of King Gongmin (1359), and disclose it to the public in our special exhibition room for a month from Thursday.”

The painting has been kept by a temple in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, in the west of Mt. Fuji, Japan, and has never left the place since around 1530.

An Amida Buddha Triad refers to a Buddhist painting which has Amitabha flanked by two Bodhisattvas. The triad coming to Korea is a gilt painting on a dark blue silk scroll which is 85.6 centimeters wide by 164.9 centimeter long. There are around 160 paintings of the Goryeo Dynasty but it is the only gilt painting on silk. Park Eun-gyeong, a professor at Dong-A University, said, “It was thought to be a piece from the early Joseon Dynasty with some traits from the Goryeo Dynasty. After the records of paintings were found last year, it was elevated to the status of national treasures.”

Notably, the first public exhibition is made in Korea. The painting used to be open only once a year only to a selective number of Buddhists at the temple in Japan. Daides Isogai, 73, a Buddhist monk who asked not to disclose the name of the Japanese temple, said, “We allowed the exhibition in hopes for easing the strained bilateral relationship on the non-government level.”