List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: others)

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For the list of sword National Treasure craft items, see List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: swords).
Bodhisattva giving up his own life so that a tiger family can feed their cubs; illustration of a Jataka tale on the base of the Tamamushi Shrine

The term "National Treasure" has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties since 1897,[1][2] although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The crafts items in the list adhere to the current definition, and have been designated National Treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951. The items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology based on their "especially high historical or artistic value".[3][4] The list presents 130 entries from Classical to early modern Japan, spanning from the 7th century Asuka to the 18th century Edo period. The total number of items is higher, however, since groups of related objects have been joined as single entries. The listed objects are of various types and include household goods, objects related to Buddhism, armour and harnesses. Some of the oldest objects were imported from China at the time. The listed items consist of different materials such as wood over clay, to bronze. Often the articles were decorated using a variety of artistic techniques like gilding of precious metals, line engraving, maki-e, mother of pearl inlay or lacquer. The objects are housed in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines or museums.[4]

The objects in this list represent about half of the 252 National Treasures in the category "crafts". They are complemented by 100 swords and 12 Japanese sword mountings National Treasures of the List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: swords).[4]

Statistics[edit]

Prefecture City National
Treasures
Aichi Nagoya 1
Akita Daisen 1
Aomori Hachinohe 2
Chiba Katori 1
Ehime Imabari 5
Fukui Echizen 1
Sakai 1
Tsuruga 1
Fukuoka Dazaifu 1
Fukuoka 1
Gifu Gifu 1
Gunma Shibukawa 1
Hiroshima Hatsukaichi 7
Ishikawa Kanazawa 1
Iwate Hiraizumi 4
Kagawa Zentsūji 1
Kanagawa Kamakura 5
Kyoto Kyoto 13
Uji 2
Nagano Suwa 1
Nara Gojō 1
Ikaruga 4
Ikoma 1
Katsuragi 1
Nara 24
Sakurai 1
Ōita Usa 1
Okayama Okayama 1
Osaka Fujiidera 1
Habikino 1
Izumi 1
Osaka 6
Shiga Moriyama 1
Nagahama 1
Ōtsu 3
Shimane Izumo 2
Shizuoka Atami 1
Mishima 1
Tokyo Ōme 2
Tokyo 20
Wakayama Kinokawa 1
Kōya 1
Shingu 1
Yamaguchi Hōfu 1
Yamanashi Kōshū 1
Period[nb 1] National Treasures
Silla Dynasty 1
Asuka period 4
Sui Dynasty 1
Tang Dynasty 11
Nara period 16
Heian period 50
Southern Song Dynasty 7
Kamakura period 27
Yuan Dynasty 1
Muromachi period 1
Nanboku-chō period 3
Joseon Dynasty 1
Momoyama period 1
Edo period 6
Present location of non-sword craft National Treasures of Japan[nb 2]


Usage[edit]

The table's columns (except for Remarks, Type and Image) are sortable pressing the arrows symbols. The following gives an overview of what is included in the table and how the sorting works. Not all tables have all of the following columns.

  • Name: name as registered in the Database of National Cultural Properties[4]
  • Artist: name of the artist if known
  • Remarks: additional information such as style, special materials, techniques or notable owners
  • Date: period and year; the column entries sort by year. If the entry can only be dated to a time-period, they sort by the start year of that period
  • Type: general nature of object, main materials and dimensions
  • Present location: "temple/museum/shrine-name town-name prefecture-name"; column entries sort as "prefecture-name town-name temple/museum/shrine-name"
  • Image: a picture of the item

Treasures[edit]

Pottery[edit]

Japanese pottery is one of the country's oldest art forms dating to the neolithic period, and some of the world's oldest earthenware from about 14,000 BC has been discovered in Japan. Early pottery objects were made of clay, unglazed and without ornamentation. Later, during the Jōmon, Yayoi and Kofun periods, simple patterned designs and molded ornamentations were added. Such early techniques were formed by coiling or scratching and firing pieces at low temperatures.[5][6][7] High-fired Korean Sue ware, and with it the pottery wheel, arrived in Japan around the 6th century, marking the beginning of major technological advances imported from the mainland.[6][7] Stoneware originated in Japan with the development of green-glazed and other color glazed pottery in the second half of the 7th century. The oldest item in this list is a green-glazed funerary pot from the 12th century.[7]

The popularity of the tea ceremony among the ruling class had a significant influence on ceramic production. To satisfy the demand for high quality pottery items necessary to the tea ceremony a large number of celadon vases and tenmoku ash-glazed teabowls initially were imported from China from the mid-11th to the 16th centuries. These imported items were copied and produced locally at the Seto kiln in Owari Province.[6][8] Around the mid-16th century adjacent Mino took over as a production center of conservative Chinese inspired Seto style pottery. The Japanese invasions of Korea from 1592–1598, and subsequent relocation of Korean potters to Kyushu, brought new pottery styles to Japan.[6] From the late-16th century, Mino potters developed new, distinctly Japanese techniques such as Shino ware or Raku ware.[9] This was also motivated by a general shift of tastes among teamasters and others, who came to prefer simpler unglazed tea bowls formed by hand rather than on a pottery wheel.[6] Of the 14 pottery items in this list, eight entries are chawan bowls used in the tea ceremony, three are flower vases, one is an incense burner, one a tea-leaf jar and one a funerary pot. Eight objects originated in China, five in Japan and one in Korea.[4]

Japan[edit]

Name Artist Remarks Date Type Present location Image
White Raku (楽焼白片身変茶碗 rakuyaki shirokatamigawari chawan?) named Fuji-san (不二山?)[10][11] Honami Kōetsu Thought to have been a wedding present by Honami Kōetsu 1600Edo period, 17th century Chawan; Raku ware; height: 8.6 cm (3.4 in), diameter: 11.5 cm (4.5 in) Nagano Suwa Sunritz Hattori Museum of ArtSunritz Hattori Museum of Art (サンリツ服部美術館 sanritsu hattori bijutsukan?), Suwa, Nagano White RAKU BOWL KOETSU FUJISAN.JPG
Incense burner in the shape of pheasant decorated with overglaze enamels (色絵雉香炉 iroe kijikōro?)[12] Nonomura Ninsei (野々村仁清?) Life-sized, cock pheasant shaped incense burner composed of two parts; lifelike coloration with green, navy blue, red and gold pigments; used in the tea ceremony 1600Edo period, 17th century Incense burner; Kyoto-ware, polychrome overglaze (色絵 iroe?); length: 48.3 centimetres (19.0 in), width: 12.5 cm (4.9 in), height: 18.1 cm (7.1 in) Ishikawa Kanazawa Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of ArtIshikawa Prefectural Museum of Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Tea-leaf jar with a design of wisteria (色絵藤花文茶壺 iroe fujihanamon chatsubo?)[13] Nonomura Ninsei (野々村仁清?) Blooming wisteria flowers painted over a warm white glaze in enamels of red, purple, gold and silver; base is orange and has a stamp mark reading "Ninsei"; passed down in the Kyogoku family of the Marugame domain, present day Kagawa Prefecture 1600Edo period, 17th century Tea-leaf jar; stoneware (Kyoto-ware) with overglaze enamels; height: 28.8 cm (11.3 in), bore diameter: 10.1 cm (4.0 in), trunk diameter: 27.3 cm (10.7 in), bottom diameter: 10.5 cm (4.1 in) Shizuoka Atami MOA Museum of ArtMOA Museum of Art, Atami, Shizuoka NINSEI Wisteria TeaJar MOA.JPG
Tea bowl, Shino ware (志野茶碗 shino chawan?) named U no hanagaki (卯花墻?)[14] unknown Distorted shape 1573Momoyama period Chawan; thick white glaze, red scorch marks, and texture of small holes Tokyo Tokyo Mitsui Memorial MuseumMitsui Memorial Museum, Tokyo
Pot with design of autumn grasses (Akikusamon bottle) (秋草文壺 akikusamontsubo?)[15][16] unknown Discovered in the Hakusan Burial Mound; mouth bending slightly outward, bulging upper body, narrow base; covered with green glaze and drawings of autumn grasses (Japanese silver grass, melon) scratched in with a spatula; character "上" in the inside of the mouth 1150Heian period, second half of 12th century Funerary pot; Atsumi ware; height: 42 cm (17 in), diameter at neck: 16 cm (6.3 in), diameter at body 29 cm (11 in), diameter at base 14 cm (5.5 in) Tokyo Tokyo Keio UniversityKeio University, Tokyo; currently at Tokyo National Museum Akikusamon bottle.JPG

China, Korea[edit]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Spotted tenmoku tea bowl (曜変天目茶碗 yōhen tenmoku chawan?) or Inaba tenmoku (稲葉天目?)[17] One of four extant tea bowls in the yōhen tenmoku style (three are National Treasures); passed from the Tokugawa clan to Inaba Masayasu and handed down in the Inaba clan 1200Southern Song, 12–13th century Chawan; karamono (唐物), natural ash (yōhen) tenmoku glaze; height: 6.8 cm (2.7 in), mouth diameter: 12 cm (4.7 in), base diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5 in) Tokyo Tokyo Seikado Bunko Art MuseumSeikado Bunko Art Museum (静嘉堂文庫?), Tokyo
Spotted tenmoku tea bowl (曜変天目茶碗 yōhen tenmoku chawan?)[18] One of four extant tea bowls in the yōhen tenmoku style (three are National Treasures); produced in the Jian kilns in Fujian (福建省建窯) in south China 1200Southern Song, 12–13th century Chawan; karamono (唐物), natural ash (yōhen) tenmoku glaze; blue and green spot marks; height: 6.8 cm (2.7 in), mouth diameter: 12.3 cm (4.8 in), base diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5 in) Osaka Osaka Fujita Art MuseumFujita Art Museum, Osaka YOUHEN TENMOKU bowl FUJITA.JPG
Spotted tenmoku tea bowl (燿変天目茶碗 yōhen tenmoku chawan?) One of four extant tea bowls in the yōhen tenmoku style (three are National Treasures) 1200Southern Song, 12–13th century Chawan; karamono (唐物), natural ash (yōhen) tenmoku glaze; height: 6.6 cm (2.6 in), mouth diameter: 12.1 cm (4.8 in), base diameter: 3.8 cm (1.5 in) Kyoto Kyoto RyukoinRyūkō-in (龍光院?) (Daitoku-ji), Kyoto
Tea bowl with tortoise shell pattern (玳玻天目茶碗 taihi tenmoku chawan?) Produced in the Jizhou kiln (吉州窯) in Yonghe, Ji'an County 1127Southern Song Chawan; tenmoku glaze Kyoto Kyoto ShokokujiShōkoku-ji, Kyoto
Tea bowl with silvery (oil) spots (油滴天目茶碗 yuteki tenmoku chawan?)[19] Formerly in possession of Toyotomi Hidetsugu; later handed down in Nishi Hongan-ji, the Mitsui family and the Sakai clan 1200Southern Song, 12–13th century Chawan; tenmoku glaze; diameter: 12.2 cm (4.8 in) Osaka Osaka Museum of Oriental CeramicsMuseum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (大阪市立東洋陶磁美術館 Ōsakashi ritsutō yōtōji bijutsukan?), Osaka
Celadon turnip-bottom flower vase (青磁下蕪花生 seiji shimokabura hanaike?)[20] Produced in the Longquan (龍泉?) kiln 1100Southern Song, 12th century Flower vase; celadon; height: 23.5 cm (9.3 in) Gunma Shibukawa Hara Museum ARCcustody of Hara Museum ARC (ハラミュージアムアーク?), Shibukawa, Gunma; owned by Arukansheru Foundation for the Arts (アルカンシエール美術財団 arukanshiēru bijutsu zaidan?), Tokyo
Celadon flower vase with Fenghuang ears (handle) (青磁鳳凰耳花生 seiji hōōmimi hanaike?) or Bansei (万声?)[21] Produced in the Longquan (龍泉?) kiln 1127Southern Song, 13th century Flower vase; celadon; height: 23.5 cm (9.3 in), bore diameter: 10.8 cm (4.3 in) Osaka Izumi Kuboso Memorial Museum of ArtsKuboso Memorial Museum of Arts (和泉市久保惣記念美術館 izumishi kubosō kinen bijutsukan?), Izumi, Osaka
Celadon flower vase with Iron Brown Spots (飛青磁花生 tobiseiji hanaike?)[22] Pear-shaped bottle; about 5 mm (0.20 in) of glaze at the foot has been scraped away and turned red in the fire; produced in the Longquan (龍泉?) kiln; handed down through the Konoike family 1300Yuan Dynasty, 13–14th century Flower vase; celadon; height: 27.4 cm (10.8 in) Osaka Osaka Museum of Oriental CeramicsMuseum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (大阪市立東洋陶磁美術館 Ōsakashi ritsutō yōtōji bijutsukan?), Osaka Spotted Celadon KONOIKE.JPG
Ido chawan (井戸茶碗?) or Kizaemon (喜左衛門?)[23] Name refers to Takeda Kizaemon, an Osaka merchant and former owner of the bowl; later in possession of Matsudaira Fumai; said to bring sickness and death to its owner 1500Joseon Dynasty, 16th century Chawan; bore diameter: 15.5 cm (6.1 in) Kyoto Kyoto KohoanKohō-an (孤篷庵?), Kyoto

Metalworks[edit]

Bronze and iron casting were introduced to Japan from the mainland in the Yayoi period, initially bringing to Japan from Korea and China iron knives and axes, and later bronze swords, spears and mirrors.[5][24][25][26] Eventually all of these and other metal objects were produced locally.[27]

Mirror icons[edit]

Mirror icons or kyōzō (鏡像) are drawings on the surface of a mirror. They first appeared around the mid-Heian period and are a representation of honji suijaku, fusing Buddhist deities with local Shinto kami.[28][29] Three early mirror icons with line engravings of various deities have been designated as National Treasures.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Mirror with engraved image of Thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy (線刻千手観音等鏡像 senkoku senjukannontō kyōzō?)[30] Thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy surrounded by the eight legions (八部衆 hachibushū?); waterfowl and butterfly on backside; shintai of Sui Shrine 1099late Heian period, end of 11th century Mirror; bronze, line engraving; diameter: 14.8 cm (5.8 in), thickness: 6.6 mm (0.26 in), weight: 520 g (18 oz) Akita Daisen Sui ShrineSui Shrine (水神社 sui jinja?), Daisen, Akita Suijinja goshinkyo.JPG
Mirror with engraved image of Shaka Nyorai flanked by two attendants (線刻釈迦三尊等鏡像 senkoku shakasanzontō kyōzō?)[31] Shaka image on top, Samantabhadra, Manjusri and Acala on both sides and below Shaka 1100Heian period, 12th century Mirror; cupronickel, line engraving; diameter: 15.1 cm (5.9 in), weight: 777 g (27.4 oz) Kyoto Kyoto Senoku Hakuko KanSen-oku Hakuko Kan, Kyoto
Cast bronze plaque with line-engraved Zaō Gongen (鋳銅刻画蔵王権現像 chūdō kokuga Zaō Gongenzō?)[32] Zaō Gongen (蔵王権現?) with 32 family members; Sanskrit characters engraved on back 1001Heian period, 1001 Mirror; cast bronze Tokyo Tokyo SojijiSōji-ji, Tokyo

Temple bells[edit]

The introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the mid-6th century led to the development of large hanging bronze bells without a clapper rung with a mallet or hanging beam. They are generally suspended in dedicated bell towers or shōrō. The oldest extant of these bells date to the late-7th century and have been designated as National Treasures. The bells were either engraved or cast in relief, with outer surfaces showing vertical and horizontal relief bands, a boss ornament on the upper wall that sometimes included text, and handles typically shaped in a dragon motif.[33][34] Thirteen Japanese and one Korean temple bell have been designated as National Treasures.[4]

Name Artists Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[35]
Handed down in the Kanzen-in (観禅院?) subtemple; contains an inscription 0727-12-11Nara period, December 11, 727 Bell; bronze; aperture: 89.2 cm (35.1 in), height: 149.0 cm (58.7 in) Nara Nara KofukujiKōfuku-ji, Nara, Nara
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[36]
Cast for Kinseki-ji (金石寺?) in Hōki Province (in Tottori Prefecture); moved in 1653 to Izumo-taisha, then in 1889 to Tafuku-ji (多福寺?), Matsubashi-ji (松林寺?) in Shimane Prefecture until being dedicated in 1897 to Saikō-ji 0839Heian period, 839 Bell; aperture: 77.5 cm (30.5 in), height: 136.4 cm (53.7 in) Fukuoka Fukuoka SaikojiSaikō-ji (西光寺?), Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[33]
Also called Tsurezuregusa (徒然草?) or Ōjikichō (黄鐘調?) (scale in gagaku, similar to Dorian mode on A) bell; fundamental frequency: 129 Hz; together with the bell at Kanzeon-ji, one of the oldest extant Japanese bells 0698Nara period, 698 Bell; bronze; aperture: 87 cm (34 in), height: 124 cm (49 in) Kyoto Kyoto MyoshinjiLecture Hall (法堂 hōdō?) at Myōshin-ji, Kyoto
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[37]
Without inscription; cast in Tatara (多々良?), Kasuya District, Fukuoka, Chikuzen Province using the same mold as the National Treasure bell at Myōshin-ji; one of the oldest extant Japanese bells 0698Nara period, ca. 698 Bell; bronze; aperture: 86 cm (34 in), height: 106 cm (42 in) Fukuoka Dazaifu KanzeonjiKanzeon-ji, Dazaifu, Fukuoka Kanzeonji Up200606301830.JPG
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)
Without inscription; long and narrow shape; with cracks and Japanese Honeysuckle arabesque pattern 0710Nara period Bell; bronze; aperture: 85 cm (33 in), height: 150 cm (59 in) Nara Katsuragi Taimaderabelfry (shōrō) at Taima-dera, Katsuragi, Nara A bronze bell in a wooden belfry.
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)
Without inscription; biggest bell in Japan 0752Nara period, 752 Bell; aperture: 271 cm (107 in), height: 385 cm (152 in), weight: 49 t (48 long tons; 54 short tons) Nara Nara Todaijibelfry (shōrō) at Tōdai-ji, Nara, Nara A large bronze bell with cross design hanging in an open roofed belfry.
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[38]
Dedicated by Dōkyō together with a sacred horse (神馬 shinme?); contains inscription 0770-09-11Nara period, September 11, 770 Bell; aperture: 73.9 cm (29.1 in), height: 109.9 cm (43.3 in), width: 88.5 cm (34.8 in), thickness at aperture: 5.8 cm (2.3 in) Fukui Echizen Tsurugi ShrineTsurugi Shrine (劔神社?), Echizen, Fukui
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)
With inscription by Fujiwara no Toshiyuki 0875-08-23Heian period, August 23, 875 Bell; bronze; aperture: 80.5 cm (31.7 in), height: 148 cm (58 in) Kyoto Kyoto Jingojibelfry (shōrō) at Jingo-ji, Kyoto
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[39]
With calligraphy attributed to Ono no Michikaze 0917-11-03Heian period, November 3, 917 Bell; bronze; diameter: 90 cm (35 in), height: 150 cm (59 in) Nara Gojo EisanjiEisan-ji (栄山寺?), Gojō, Nara Eisanji Bonsyou.JPG
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)
Decorated with lion, dragon, Chinese phoenix and dancing heavenly nymphs; previously located in the belfry (shōrō); one of the Three Great Bells of Japan. 1000Heian period, c. 11th century Bell; aperture: 123 cm (48 in), height: 199 cm (78 in), weight: 2 t (2.0 long tons; 2.2 short tons) Kyoto Uji ByodoinByōdō-in Museum Hōshōkan (平等院ミュージアム鳳翔館?), Byōdō-in, Uji, Kyoto BYODOIN BELL.JPG
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[40] Mononobe Shigemitsu (物部重光?) Inscription in embossed carving by founder Lanxi Daolong; donated by Hōjō Tokiyori 1255-02-21Kamakura period, February 21, 1255 Bell; height: 210 cm (83 in) Kanagawa Kamakura Kenchojibelfry (shōrō) at Kenchō-ji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Kencho-ji,-Bell.jpg
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[41] Mononobe Kunimitsu (物部国光?) Made by order of Hōjō Sadatoki; largest bell in Kantō; donated by Hōjō Tokiyori 1301-08Kamakura period, August 1301 Bell; height: 260 cm (100 in) Kanagawa Kamakura EngakujiEngaku-ji, Kamakura, Kanagawa Engakuji-Bell-M9323.jpg
Temple bell (梵鐘 bonshō?)[42]
Initially at the west pagoda of Enryaku-ji's Hōdō-in (宝幢院?); contains a three line, 24 characters inscription 0858-08-09Heian period, August 9, 858 Bell; aperture: 55.3 cm (21.8 in), height: 116.0 cm (45.7 in) Shiga Moriyama Sagawa Art MuseumSagawa Art Museum (佐川美術館 Sagawa bijutsukan?), Moriyama, Shiga
Korean bell (朝鮮鐘 chōsenshō?)[43]
Head in dragon design, body decorated with clouds and celestial beings; oldest Korean bell in Japan 0833-03Silla, March 833 Bell; aperture: 66.7 cm (26.3 in), height: 112 cm (44 in) Fukui Tsuruga Jogu ShrineTreasure House at Jōgū Shrine (常宮神社 Jōgū jinja?), Tsuruga, Fukui Jogu Jinsha Bell (261).jpg

Buddhist items[edit]

A variety of Buddhist metal implements and objects have been designated as 19 National Treasures. These include five[nb 3] decorated bronze or copper gongs, struck with wooden sticks during Buddhist rituals, a set of flower baskets (keko) used in the Buddhist flower-scattering ritual, six pagoda shaped reliquaries, an incense burner, a sutra container, a bowl for offerings, a banner for ceremonial use, the finial of a pilgrim's staff and two sets of implements used in Esoteric Buddhism.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Buddhist ritual gong with peacock relief (孔雀文磬 kujakumon kei?)[44] Originally kept in Senju-dō; pair of peacock motif on both sides 1250-01-01Kamakura period, January 1, 1250 Gong; cast bronze gilding; shoulder width: 32.4 cm (12.8 in), chord length: 32.5 cm (12.8 in) Iwate Hiraizumi Chusonji JizoinJizō-in (地蔵院?), Chūson-ji, Hiraizumi, Iwate RitualGong ACE1250 Chusonji.JPG
Gilt bronze Buddhist ritual gong with hōsōge flower design (金銅宝相華文磬 kondō hōsōgemon kei?)[45][46] Hōsōge flower design 1100late Heian period Gong; gilt bronze, line engraving; shoulder width: 23.8 cm (9.4 in), fringe stretch: 27.0 cm (10.6 in), height: 9.5 cm (3.7 in); thickness: 0.7–0.9 cm (0.28–0.35 in) Fukui Sakai TakidanjiTakidan-ji (瀧谷寺?), Sakai, Fukui Hosoge flower gong.jpg
Gilt bronze Buddhist ritual gong with lotus flower design (金銅蓮花文磬 kondō rengemon kei?) Lotus flower design 0794Heian period Gong; gilt bronze Kyoto Kyoto EikandoEikan-dō Zenrin-ji, Kyoto Lotus flower gong.jpg
Buddhist ritual gong with peacock relief (孔雀文磬 kujakumon kei?)[47] Motif of peacocks facing each other and lotus flower; contains an inscription; originally presented to Miroku-ji (弥勒寺?) temple 1209Kamakura period, 1209 Gong Oita Usa Usa Shrinemanaged by Usa Shrine, Usa, Ōita; private owner
Buddhist ritual gong stand (華原磬 kagenkei?)[48] In 734 placed in front of the Buddha in the Western Golden Hall; gong is fitted in a gilt bronze stand with a lion at the base and two dragons (male and female) at the top; gong had been lost and reproduced in the late 12th-early 13th century; stand is original 0734Tang Dynasty Gong; copper; total height: 96.0 cm (37.8 in) Nara Nara KofukujiKōfuku-ji, Nara, Nara Kagenkei GongStand Kofukuji.JPG
Gilt bronze finial of a pilgrim's staff (sistrum) (金銅錫杖頭 kondō shakujō-tō?)[49][50] Decorated with Buddhist figures; front: Amida flanked by Dhrtarastra (持国天?) and Virudhaka (増長天?) (two of the Four Guardian Kings); back: Amida Nyorai flanked by Virupaksa (広目天?) and Vaisravana (多聞天?) (two of the Four Guardian Kings); probably brought to Japan from China by Kūkai 0618Tang Dynasty Sistrum; gilt bronze; length: 55 cm (22 in) Kagawa Zentsuji ZentsujiZentsū-ji, Zentsūji, Kagawa
Iron pagoda (鉄宝塔 teppōtō?)[51] Square base with inscriptions on all sides; includes crystal Gorintō placed inside the iron pagoda 1197-11-22Kamakura period, November 22, 1197 Two miniature pagodas; iron and crystal; height of crystal pagoda: 14 cm (5.5 in) Yamaguchi Hofu AmidajiAmida-ji (阿弥陀寺?), Hōfu, Yamaguchi
Gilt copper reliquary for Buddha's ashes (金銅能作生塔 kondō nōsashōtō?)[52] Topped by a three-sided flame and gem on a lotus pedestal; water jug shaped container with fish roe pattern (魚々子 nanako?) and lotus arabesque motif in line engraving 1185Kamakura period Reliquary; gilt copper, silver plating; height: 26.3 cm (10.4 in) Nara Ikoma ChofukujiChōfuku-ji (長福寺?), Ikoma, Nara
Gilt bronze bowl with hōsōge flower pattern (金銅獅子唐草文鉢 kondō shishikarakusamon?)[53] Lion and hōsōge flower pattern; used for offerings; donated by Emperor Shōmu 0710Nara period, 8th century Bowl; gilt bronze, line engraving; diameter: 27.5 cm (10.8 in), height: 14.5 cm (5.7 in) Gifu Gifu GokokushijiGokokushi-ji, Gifu, Gifu
Flower baskets in openwork gold and silver plating (金銀鍍透彫華籠 kinginto sukashibari keko?)[54] Plates (華籠 keko?) used for the Buddhist flower-scattering rituals 0794Heian period (5 plates), Kamakura period (11 plates) 16 plates; openwork, gold and silver plating Shiga Nagahama JinshojiJinshō-ji (神照寺?), Nagahama, Shiga Flower basket gilt Jinshoji.jpg
Gilt bronze reliquary in openwork (金銅透彫舎利塔 kondō sukashibari sharitō?) Decorated with arabesque pattern, dragon, lion, peony and chrysanthemum motifs; originally used as a lantern 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Reliquary; gilt bronze, openwork; height: 37 cm (15 in) Nara Nara Saidaiji ShuhokanShūhōkan (聚宝館?), Saidai-ji, Nara, Nara; entrusted to Nara National Museum Saidaiji Monastery Gilt Bronze Reliquary (478).jpg
Ritual Objects of Esoteric Buddhism (密教法具 mikkyō hōgu?)[55][56][57] Three utensils used during ritual incantation and prayer in Esoteric Buddhism: a stand for vajra pestle and bell (金剛盤 kongōban?), a five-pronged bell (五鈷鈴 gokorei?), a five-pronged short club (vajra) (五鈷杵 gokosho?); said to have been brought to Japan from China by Kūkai; kongōban is said to be the oldest example of its kind in Japan 0794Heian period Utensils; gilt bronze Kyoto Kyoto TojiTō-ji, Kyoto
Reliquary (舎利容器 shari yōki?)[58][59][60] Includes (i) a pagoda-shaped gold reliquary with tortoise base (金亀舎利塔 kinki sharitō?) and lotus flower arabesque; (ii) a white glass (hu-)pot for the bones of Buddha (白瑠璃舎利壺 shiroruri shariko?), with a seal of Emperor Go-Komatsu; (iii) Lace with square and round shapes (方円彩糸花網 hōensaishikamō?) wrapping the glass pot; oldest extant article of its kind 0618Tang Dynasty and Kamakura period Reliquary set; (i) wood covered with gold sheets (tortoise), gilt copper; (ii) white glass. (iii) knitwork, colored silk thread (navy blue, brown, etc.) Nara Nara ToshodaijiTōshōdai-ji, Nara, Nara
Gilt bronze ritual Objects of Esoteric Buddhism (金銅密教法具 kondō mikkyō hōgu?)[55][56][57][61][62][63] Five utensils used during ritual incantation and prayer in Esoteric Buddhism: a stand for vajra pestle and bell (金剛盤 kongōban?), a five-pronged bell (五鈷鈴 gokorei?), a five-pronged short club (vajra) (五鈷杵 gokosho?), a three-pronged pestle (三鈷杵 sankosho?), a pestle with a single sharp blade at each end (独鈷杵 tokkosho?) 1185Kamakura period Utensils; gilt bronze; kongōban: 6.2 × 21.8 × 28.6 cm (2.4 × 8.6 × 11.3 in); gokorei: height 20.9 cm (8.2 in), aperture 9 cm (3.5 in); tokkosho: length 18.5 cm (7.3 in); sankosho: length 18.8 cm (7.4 in); gokosho: length 19.4 cm (7.6 in) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Itsukushima Jinsha Bronze Vadjras and Bell (477).jpg
Gilt bronze sutra container (金銅経箱 kondō kyōbako?)[64] Dedicated in 1031 to the Nyōhō-dō (如法堂?) in Yokawa Valley on Mount Hiei by Empress Shōshi; decorated with auspicious floral motifs and with an inscription; excavated in the Taishō period 1031late Heian period Sutra container; forged bronze; 29 × 12 × 8 cm (11 × 5 × 3 in) Shiga Otsu EnryakujiEnryaku-ji, Ōtsu, Shiga Sutra container gilt Enryakuji.JPG
Gilt bronze banner (金銅灌頂幡 kondō kanjōban?)[65]

[66]

Used for the Buddhist abhiseka ceremony of sprinkling water on the head of a devotee; honeysuckle arabesque, clouds, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, celestial beings and other decorations; part of the Hōryū-ji Treasures 0600Asuka period, 7th century Six big and small banners; cloth covered with gilt bronze, openwork, line engraving; canopy: 65.0 cm × 65.0 cm (25.6 in × 25.6 in), body of banner: length 74.5–82.6 cm (29.3–32.5 in), width 32.7–33.5 cm (12.9–13.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National Museum The Gallery of Horyuji TreasuresThe Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Kanjo banner1.jpg

Kanjo banner2.jpg

Incense burner with handle in shape of magpie tail (金銅柄香炉 kondō egōrō?)[67][68] With flower shaped pedestal and handle in shape of magpie tail; possibly associated with the Eastern Hall at Hōryū-ji and used by Eji (慧慈?), the Buddhist master of Prince Shōtoku; part of the Hōryū-ji Treasures 0600Asuka period, 7th century Incense burner; gilt brass; 39.0 cm × 10.2 cm (15.4 in × 4.0 in), diameter of censer 13.3 cm (5.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National Museum The Gallery of Horyuji TreasuresThe Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Incense burner handle Horyuji.JPG
Iron pagoda (鉄宝塔 teppōtō?) and containers for Buddha's bones (舎利瓶 sharihei?)[69] Pagoda with similar shape as the gilt bronze pagoda in the same temple; containers in the shape of water jug were placed inside the iron pagoda; included in the nomination is a wooden box 1284Kamakura period, 1284 Miniature pagoda and five pots; iron (pagoda) and copper (pots); height of pagoda: 176 cm (69 in) Nara Nara Saidaiji ShuhokanShūhōkan (聚宝館?), Saidai-ji, Nara, Nara; entrusted to Nara National Museum
Gilt bronze pagoda (金銅宝塔 kondō hōtō?) and associated articles[69] Besides the gilt bronze pagoda the nomination includes: (i) gilt bronze gem-shaped reliquary (金銅宝珠形舎利塔 kondō hōjugata sharitō?) placed in the lower part; (ii) gilt bronze cylindrical container (金銅筒形容器 kondō tsutsugata yōki?);(iii) (赤地二重襷花文錦小袋?); (iv) crystal gorintō (水晶五輪塔 suishō gorintō?) with a small red brocade bag; (v) piece of textile for wrapping the crystal gorintō (水晶五輪塔(織物縫合小裹共)?) placed in the upper part 1270Kamakura period, 1270 Height of pagoda: 91 cm (36 in) Nara Nara Saidaiji ShuhokanShūhōkan (聚宝館?), Saidai-ji, Nara, Nara; entrusted to Nara National Museum

Mirrors[edit]

Bronze mirrors arrived to Japan from China as early as the Yayoi period and continued to be imported through the Tang Dynasty (618–907). During that period mirrors cast in Japan were imitations of Chinese prototypes and subsequently Japanese designs were established. All of these mirrors were generally circular, with a polished front, and a back decorated with molded or engraved reliefs, sometimes inlaid with gold or silver. Three mirrors or sets of mirrors[nb 4] decorated with floral and animal motifs have been designated as National Treasures.[70]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Mirrors with sea and islands (海磯鏡 kaiki-kyō?)[71] Dedicated to Hōryū-ji by Empress Kōmyō in 736 on the anniversary of the death of Prince Shōtoku; patterns in Chinese style on both mirrors similar: four mountainous islands around the circumference with lions, deer, birds and a seated figure and two fishermen in small boats on the sea; place of production unknown either China or Japanese copies of Chinese originals 0700Tang Dynasty or Nara period, 8th century Two mirrors; cast nickel; diameters: 46.5 cm (18.3 in) and 46.2 cm (18.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo Mirror with Sea and Islands.jpg
Mirror with birds, animals and grape design (禽獣葡萄鏡 kinjū budōkyō?) Dedicated by Empress Kōgyoku 0618Tang Dynasty Cupronickel; diameter: 27 cm (11 in) Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine, Imabari, Ehime Mirror with birds animals and grapes.jpg
Mirror with marine animals and grape design (海獣葡萄鏡 kaijū budōkyō?)[72] Grape arabesque pattern; handle in lion shape surrounded by various animal motifs: lion, deer, horse, giraffe, peafowl, mandarin duck, Chinese phoenix, chicken, insects 0618Tang Dynasty Cupronickel; diameter: 29.6 cm (11.7 in), width at edge: 2 cm (0.79 in), weight: 4,560 g (161 oz) Katori Shrine, Katori, Chiba Mirror with marine animals and grapes.jpg

Others[edit]

Six National Treasures made of metal are not covered by the above categories. They are two gilt bronze lanterns, a plaque, a pair of phoenix sculptures, a pitcher and a calligraphy set consisting of a water dropper, spoons and an ink rest.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Dragon-head pitcher (金銀鍍龍首水瓶 kinginto ryūshu suibyō?)[73] Lid and handle in dragon shape, body with engraved pegasus design; part of the Hōryū-ji treasures 0600Tang Dynasty or Nara period, 7th century Pitcher; gold and silver plated bronze, line engraving; body diameter: 18.9 cm (7.4 in), overall height: 49.9 cm (19.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo Dragon head Pitcher former Horyuji.JPG
Gilt bronze lantern (金銅燈籠 kondō tōrō?)[74] Originally placed in front of the South Octagonal Hall at Kōfuku-ji 0816Heian period, 816 Lantern; gilt bronze; height: 236 cm (93 in) Nara Nara Kofukuji National Treasure HallNational Treasure Hall, Kōfuku-ji, Nara, Nara
Bronze plaque depicting Shaka delivering a sermon (銅版法華説相図 kondō hokke sessōzu?)[75][76] Hexagonal three-storied pagoda in center of plaque; in top panel: Buddha triads surrounded by 1000 Buddhas; middle panel: two Buddhas on lotus seats, deities and monks; lower panel: 27 line inscription in center framed by two guardian gods 0710Nara period Plaque; bronze; 84.0 cm × 75.0 cm (33.1 in × 29.5 in) Nara Sakurai HasederaHase-dera, Sakurai, Nara Relief with a pagoda in the centre surrounded by various images of deities. The lower part of the plaque bears an inscription which is framed by two deities.
Octagonal gilt bronze lantern (金銅八角燈籠 kondō hakkaku tōrō?) Decoration of bodhisattva playing musical instruments; conical jewel top 0710Nara period, 8th century Lantern; gilt bronze Nara Nara Todaijiin front of Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 daibutsuden?), Tōdai-ji, Nara, Nara Todaiji Monastery Panels of the Bronze Lantern (250).jpg
Gilt bronze Chinese phoenix (金銅鳳凰 kondō hōhō?) Formerly placed on both ends of the roof of the main hall (Phoenix Hall) at Byōdō-in 0794Heian period Phoenix (pair); gilt plated copper Kyoto Uji ByodoinByōdō-in, Uji, Kyoto Phoenix North Byodoin.jpg Phoenix South Byodoin.JPG
Gilt bronze water dropper (pot) (金銅水注 kondō suichū?), Gilt bronze spoon (金銅匙 kondō saji?) and Gilt bronze sumi (ink-cake) rest (金銅墨床 kondō bokushō?)[77] Utensils for calligraphy: (i) Water pot with oval window on each side and three legs; lid in flower-shape with jewel-shaped knob; (ii) Hexagonal pedestal-shaped rest for the ink stick; engraved with fish-egg circles; (iii) Spoons for drawing water from the pot, in the shape of a lotus flower, a gourd and a willow leaf; all items part of the Hōryū-ji treasures 0710Nara period or Tang Dynasty, 8th century Water dropper, three spoons, rest; gilt bronze; height: 3.8 cm (1.5 in) (sumi rest), 7.5 cm (3.0 in) (water dropper), length of spoons: 11.7–13.3 cm (4.6–5.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo Water container BronzeGilt former Horyuji.JPG

Lacquer[edit]

Japanese lacquerware has a long history, back as far as the Jōmon period, because of decorative value and the quality as protective finish.[78][79] Initially lacquer was used to enhance properties of utilitarian objects such as watertight drinking vessels, cooking and household goods.[80] The oldest extant decorated item dates to the 6th century; in the medieval and early modern period lacquer was used in the manufacture of many products such as toiletry boxes, inkstone cases, eating utensils, plates, bowls, containers, furniture, saddles, stirrups or armour.[78][80][81][82]

Lacquerware is produced in a three-step process: first the base is prepared. Most often the base consists of wood, but it can also be of paper or leather. Next is the application of lacquer, which hardens while drying, thereby sealing the base. Generally several layers of lacquer are applied. The lacquer is then decorated with a variety of methods.[78][83][84] In the maki-e technique, a powdered metal (usually gold or silver) is sprinkled on the lacquer before completely hardened. This technique was developed and popular in the Heian period but continued to be used with refinements into the early modern period.[78] Over the next centuries various other methods that employ precious metals were developed, such as the ikakeji technique originating in the Kamakura period in which a finely ground gold powder was spread in sufficient quantities to mimic solid gold.[78] The use of metallic powders was complemented with other techniques such as polished shell inlay or gold leaf (kirikane). The former was used in the Heian and Kamakura periods and popular motifs included water, rocks, trees or flowers.[85] Starting in the Kamakura period, larger and more solid objects such as toiletry chests were decorated with realistic images.[85] Towards the end of the medieval period (late-16th century), simpler designs were favoured in decorations.[78][85] Honami Kōetsu who lived around this time is the earliest lacquer artist known by name.[86][87] Japanese lacquerwork reached its apogee in the 17th century Edo period when lacquer was used for decorative objects as well as everyday items such as combs, tables, bottle, headrests, small boxes or writing cases.[78][82][85] The most famous artist of this time was the lacquerer painter Ogata Kōrin.[88][89] He was the first to use mother of pearl and pewter in larger quantities for decorating lacquerware.[89][90]

Buddhist items[edit]

Eleven items related to Buddhism, including four boxes for sutra scrolls made with a wood or leather base, two miniature shrines, one table, a jewel box, a box for a monk's robe (kesa ), a palanquin and a Buddhist platform, have been designated as lacquered Buddhist National Treasures. With one exception all of these items date to the Heian period.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Octagonal Buddhist platform with mother of pearl inlay (螺鈿八角須弥壇 raden hakkaku shumidan?)[91] Struts decorated with bells and canopy; top and bottom with pestle and flower pattern; foliate panels (格狭間 kōzama?) framed with gilt bronze border; eight Karyobinga (winged female angels) on each panel holding a percussion instrument (on front panel) or flower pots (on other panels) 0794Heian period Platform; lacquered wood with mother of pearl inlay, gold and silver; height: 52.4 cm (20.6 in), diameter: 193.9 cm (76.3 in), side length : 74.5 cm (29.3 in) Iwate Hiraizumi ChusonjiChūson-ji, Hiraizumi, Iwate Octagonal Platform Chusonji.JPG
Sutra box with maki-e hōsōge motif (宝相華蒔絵経箱 hōsōge makie kyōbako?) With arabesque pattern of hōsōge flowers 1100Heian period, around 1100 Sutra box; black lacquered wood, rough maki-e; 20.3 cm × 17.0 cm (8.0 in × 6.7 in) Shiga Otsu EnryakujiEnryaku-ji, Ōtsu, Shiga
Sutra Box with Lotus Arabesques (蓮唐草蒔絵経箱 hasu karakusa makie kyōbako?)[92][93] Arabesque lotus flower design and butterflies in maki-e 1100Heian period, 12th century Sutra box; black lacquered leather, maki-e; 31.8 × 17.6 × 12.1 cm (12.5 × 6.9 × 4.8 in) Nara Nara Nara National MuseumNara National Museum, Nara, Nara
Kesa box (海賦蒔絵袈裟箱 kaibu makie kesabako?)[94][95] Box in which a kesa brought back from Tang Dynasty China by Kūkai was stored; decorated with a sea motif: marine animals (fish, birds, turtles) in gold and waves in silver maki-e 0900Heian period, 10th century, before 940 Kesa box; lacquered hinoki wood, togidashi (burnished) maki-e; 7.9 × 39.1 × 11.5 cm (3.1 × 15.4 × 4.5 in) Kyoto Kyoto TojiTō-ji, Kyoto Kaibumakie Kesa Box.jpg
shitannuri raden kondōsō shariren (紫檀塗螺鈿金銅装舎利輦?) Palanquin similar to a mikoshi used in the sharie (舎利会?) ceremony (dedication of the bones of Buddha) 0794Heian period Palanquin; black lacquered rosewood, mother of pearl inlay Kyoto Kyoto TojiTō-ji, Kyoto
Sutra box with maki-e decorations (仏功徳蒔絵経箱 butsukudoku makie kyōbako?)[96] Box for eight scrolls of the Lotus Sutra; decorated with five scenes from the lotus sutra in maki-e 1000Heian period, around 1000 Sutra box; black lacquer on thin wood, gold and silver maki-e; 23.7 × 32.7 × 16.7 cm (9.3 × 12.9 × 6.6 in) Osaka Osaka Fujita Art MuseumFujita Art Museum, Osaka Sutra box Fujita Bijutsukan.jpg
Jewel box with maki-e hōsōge motif (宝相華蒔絵宝珠箱 hōsōge makie hōjubako?)[97] Decorated with hōsōge flowers, phoenix (chicken) and cranes on the outside and the Four Heavenly Kings inside 0794early Heian period Jewel box; lacquer, maki-e Kyoto Kyoto NinnajiNinna-ji, Kyoto
Tamamushi Shrine (玉虫厨子 tamamushi no zushi?, "Beetle wing Shrine")[98] Decorated with paintings, lotus petal mouldings and embossed figures of Buddhas 0600Asuka period, 7th century Miniature shrine; camphor and cypress wood; height: 226.6 cm (89.2 in) Nara Ikaruga HoryujiHōryū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara Tamamushi Shrine.JPG
Black lacquer table with mother of pearl inlay (黒漆螺鈿卓 kokushitsu radenshoku?)[99] Incense burner, candlestick and other items were placed on this table in front of the spirit of the deceased 1150Heian period, mid 12th century Table; black lacquer, mother of pearl inlay Nara Ikaruga HoryujiHōryū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara
Taima Mandala shrine (当麻曼荼羅厨子 taima mandara no zushi?) Decorations of lotus lake (door panels), celestial musicians (underside of roof), butterflies, ducks, cranes, pheasants, wild geese (inside); hōsōge flowers on the ceiling; used to store a Taima Mandala 0794Heian period Miniature shrine; wood Nara Nara TaimaderaTaima-dera, Nara, Nara Doors TAIMA Mandara Frame.JPG
Sutra box decorated with Kurikara Dragon in maki-e (倶利伽羅竜蒔絵経箱 kurikararyū makie kyōbako?)[100] Lid decorated with Kurikara dragon flanked by two attendants: Kongara Dōji (矜羯羅童子?) and Seitaka Dōji (制た迦童子?) 0794Heian period Sutra box; black lacquer, maki-e; 31 cm × 19 cm (12.2 in × 7.5 in) Nara Nara TaimaderaTaima-dera, Nara, Nara Kurikara Dragon Sutra Box.JPG

Mikoshi[edit]

Two 12th-century lacquer-coated mikoshi, portable shrines for use in festivals of Shinto shrines have been designated as National Treasures.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location
Mikoshi with gilt bronze fittings and mother of pearl inlay on chiriji maki-e ground (塵地螺鈿金銅装神輿 chiriji raden kondōsō mikoshi?)[101] Mythical firebird (Fenghuang) on the roof; fretwork flags hanging from the corners of the roof and three fretwork mirrors and cloths on each side 1190Kamakura period, Kenkyū era (1190–1199) Lacquered wood with mother of pearl pearskin (梨子地 nashiji?) decoration, gilt bronze fittings Osaka Habikino Konda HachimanguKonda Hachimangū (誉田八幡宮?), Habikino, Osaka
Mikoshi with gilt bronze fittings and mother of pearl inlay on ikakeji maki-e ground (沃懸地螺鈿金銅装神輿 ikakeji raden kondōsō mikoshi?)[102] Oldest extant Japanese mikoshi 1100Heian period, 12th century Lacquered wood, gilt bronze fittings; total height: 226.0 cm (89.0 in), bay: 98.2 cm (38.7 in), shafts: 364.0 cm (143.3 in), stand width: 141.0 cm (55.5 in) Wakayama Kinokawa Tomobuchi Hachiman ShrineTomobuchi Hachiman Shrine (鞆淵八幡神社 Tomobuchi Hachiman jinja?), Kinokawa, Wakayama

Harnesses[edit]

Saddles were made of wood and were designed as a standing platform for archers. They were not suited for riding long distances or at high speed.[103] Early saddles of the Nara period were of Chinese style karagura and later modified for local tastes, resulting in Japanese style saddles from the Heian period onward.[104] Artisans and carpenters became involved in the saddle production as saddles became more elaborate in the Kamakura period, with decorations in mother of pearl inlay, gold leaf and multiple coats of lacquer. Saddles ceased to be primarily utilitarian, instead serving as adornment showing the owner's status in processions.[104] Three Japanese style lacquered wooden saddles and a complete set of a Chinese style ritual saddle, dating to the late Heian and Kamakura periods, have been designated as National Treasures.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Saddle with oak tree and horned owl design (柏木兎螺鈿鞍 kashiwamimizuku raden kura?)[105][106] Exterior of ends of saddle decorated with images of oak trees and horned owls; interior decorated with broken oak tree branches; typical saddle design of a warrior of the late Heian and Kamakura period 1100late Heian period, 12th century Saddle; lacquered wood with mother of pearl inlay; height 30.0 cm (11.8 in) (saddle fork) and 35.0 cm (13.8 in) (cantle) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum, Tokyo
Saddle with ivy and poem characters design (時雨螺鈿鞍 shigure raden kura?)[107][108] Decorated with images of pines, vines twining around the pines and characters forming a love poem 1185Kamakura period Saddle; lacquered wood with mother of pearl inlay; seat length: 43.0 cm (16.9 in), height 29.7 cm (11.7 in) (saddle fork) and 35.0 cm (13.8 in) (cantle) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum, Tokyo
Saddle and stirrups with circular motifs in mother of pearl inlay (円文螺鈿鏡鞍 enmon raden no kagamikura?)[109] Includes a saddle with stirrups, bit and swing 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Saddle; lacquered wood with mother of pearl inlay; saddle: wood, lacquer, mother of pearl, and gilt copper 30.3 × 43.3 × 29.7 cm (11.9 × 17.0 × 11.7 in); stirrups: iron, lacquer, and wood 27 × 28 × 12 cm (10.6 × 11 × 4.7 in) Tokyo Ome Musashi Mitake ShrineMusashi Mitake Shrine (武蔵御嶽神社 musashimitake jinja?), Ōme, Tokyo
Chinese-style ritual saddle (唐鞍 karakura?) Includes one saddle, one neck tassel, ten flanchards (八子 hane?), a pair of stirrups, a pair of leather stirrups, one crupper (尻繋 shirigai?),[nb 5] a girth, one tail sack, two braided reins (差縄 sashinawa?),[nb 6] one saddle cushion, a pair of 障泥, two ornaments (雲珠 uzu?),[nb 7] a bit, a secondary rein, halter, one breastplate (胸繋 munagai?)[nb 8] and one champron (銀面 ginmen?)[nb 9] 1185Kamakura period Saddle of black lacquer and mother of pearl inlay and accessories of various type Nara Nara Tamukeyama HachimanguTamukeyama Hachiman-gū (手向山八幡宮?), Nara, Nara Tamukeyama Jinsha Karakura (Chinese Saddle) (479).jpg

Furniture, boxes, musical instruments[edit]

Box-like items, including five toiletry cases, two writing boxes, four other boxes, a chest, a zither, an arm rest and a marriage trousseau containing many items of furniture, boxes and others have been designated as 15 National Treasures.[4]

Name Artists Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Seven-Stringed Zither (黒漆七絃琴 kokushitsu shichigenkin?)[110] unknown Imported from China during the Nara period; thirteen circular markers of mother of pearl, two elliptical sound-holes and rosewood fittings at the ends; ink inscription inside the body states the year and place (Jiulong County) of production 0724Tang Dynasty, 724 Zither; paulownia wood with black lacquer and mother of pearl inlay; length: 109 cm (43 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo
Toiletry case with cart wheels in stream (片輪車蒔絵螺鈿手箱 katawaguruma makie raden tebako?)[111] unkonwon Interior of box and lid with flying birds and floral motifs; similar design to the National Treasure box with designation number 64, this box has number 99 1100Heian period, 12th century Toiletry case; black lacquered wood, aogin togidashi maki-e and mother of pearl inlay, openwork silver fittings; 22.4 × 30.6 × 13.5 cm (8.8 × 12.0 × 5.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo Katawaguruma Raden Makie Box.JPG
Writing Box with Eight Bridges (八橋蒔絵螺鈿硯箱 yatsuhashi makie raden suzuribako?)[112] Ogata Kōrin Rectangular two-tier box with rounded corners and lid; upper tier holds inkstone and water dropper; lower tier is for paper; eight bridges design after chapter 9 of The Tales of Ise; irises and plank bridges 1700Edo period, 18th century Writing box; black lacquered wood, gold, maki-e, abalone shells, silver and corroded lead strips (bridges); 27.3 × 19.7 × 14.2 cm (10.7 × 7.8 × 5.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo WritingBox EightBridges OgataKorin.JPG
Writing Box with pontoon bridge (舟橋蒔絵硯箱 funahashi makie suzuribako?)[113] Honami Kōetsu Square box with rounded corners and a high, domed lid which fits over the body; boats lined up in a wave pattern and bridge; characters on box quote a poem[nb 10] by Minamoto Hitoshi from the Gosen Wakashū 1600Edo period, 17th century Writing box; black lacquered wood sprinkled with gold powder, tsukegaki technique (waves), usuniku takamakie (boats), raised characters from silver strips, bridge from thick lead strip; 24.2 × 11.8 × 22.9 cm (9.5 × 4.6 × 9.0 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo
Toiletry case with floating thread twill motif (浮線綾螺鈿蒔絵手箱 fusenryō raden makie tebako?) unknown Inside of the lid with drawings of flowers of the four seasons such as: plum, pine tree, wisteria, cherry and chrysanthemum 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Toiletry case; lacquered wood with mother of pearl inlay and maki-e; 36.1 cm × 26.1 cm (14.2 in × 10.3 in), height: 23 cm (9.1 in) (total), 6.6 cm (2.6 in) (lid), 16.5 cm (6.5 in) (body) Tokyo Tokyo Suntory Museum of ArtSuntory Museum of Art, Tokyo
Toiletry case with cart wheels in stream (片輪車螺鈿蒔絵手箱 katawaguruma raden makie tebako?)[114] unknown Used to hold such things as cosmetics, paper, and writing materials; similar design to the National Treasure box with designation number 64, this box has number 99, but bigger size, higher intensity of gold color, regular placement of cart wheels and other designs 1100Heian period, 12th century Toiletry case; black lacquered wood, maki-e and mother of pearl inlay; 27.3 × 35.5 × 20.9 cm (10.7 × 14.0 × 8.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo
Jinkō mokugabako (沈香木画箱?)[115] unknown Rectangular box 0710Nara period, 8th century Box; magnolia (Magnolia obovata) wood covered with slabs of agarwood; 19.7 cm × 37.6 cm (7.8 in × 14.8 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo JINKO MOKUGABAKO.JPG
Box with butterfly design in mother of pearl inlay and maki-e (蝶螺鈿蒔絵手箱 chō raden makie tebako?) unknown Rectangular box with butterfly and peony design 1185Kamakura period Box; maki-e and mother of pearl inlay Tokyo Tokyo Hatakeyama Memorial Museum of Fine ArtHatakeyama Memorial Museum of Fine Art, Tokyo
Lacquered inkstone case decorated with laminae of mother of pearl (籬菊螺鈿蒔絵硯箱 magakinikiku raden makie suzuri bako?)[116] unknown Decorations of chrysanthemum flowers, flying birds and a bamboo hedge; the case was a gift to Minamoto no Yoritomo from Emperor Go-Shirakawa 1185Kamakura period Box; lacquer with maki-e decorations; 26.0 cm × 24.1 cm (10.2 in × 9.5 in) Kanagawa Kamakura Kamakura Museum of National TreasuresKamakura Museum of National Treasures (owned by Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū), Kamakura, Kanagawa Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Lacquer Ink Box (474).jpg
Toiletry case with plum blossom design (梅蒔絵手箱 ume makie tebako?)[117] unknown Includes 30 items 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Toiletry case; maki-e Shizuoka Mishima Mishima TaishaMishima Taisha, Mishima, Shizuoka Mishima Jinsha Toilet Case (475).jpg
Marriage trousseau (婚礼調度類?) (tokugawa mitsutomo fujin chiyohime shoyō (徳川光友夫人千代姫所用?))[118] unknown Marriage outfit of Chiyohime, wife of Tokugawa Mitsutomo and eldest daughter of Tokugawa Iemitsu; includes: 47 pieces of Hatsune shelfs and 10 pieces of butterfly maki-e furniture, 5 maki-e incense boxes, two large oblong chests, two hakama, a long sword and a set of maki-e aloes wood tools 1603Edo period Various Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya, Aichi
Arm rest decorated in maki-e with design of flowers and butterflies (花蝶蒔絵挾軾 kachō makie kyōshoku?) unknown Decorated with flower and butterfly motifs 0794late Heian period Arm rest; maki-e Osaka Osaka Fujita Art MuseumFujita Art Museum, Osaka
Box with flower and bird design (花鳥彩絵油色箱 kachō saieyushokubako?) unknown Design of flowers and birds; red, yellow and blue colors remain 0710Nara period, 8th century Box; wood colored with oil colors; 70 × 25 × 60 cm (27.6 × 9.8 × 23.6 in) Nara Nara TodaijiTōdai-ji, Nara, Nara
Small Chinese style chest with maki-e and mother of pearl inlay (澤千鳥螺鈿蒔絵小唐櫃 sawachidori raden makie kokarabitsu?) unknown Small legged Chinese style chest (karabitsu) with plover motifs 1100Heian period, 12th century Chest; maki-e, mother of pearl Wakayama Koya Kongobuji Kongōbu-ji, Kōya, Wakayama Kongobuji Temple Lacquer Casket (384).jpg
Toiletry case with autumn field and deer design (秋野鹿蒔絵手箱 akinoshika makie tebako?)[119] unknown Motifs of deer (parent and child) playing in autumn fields, small birds and more; assembled of 298 pieces 1185Kamakura period Toiletry case; black lacquer, maki-e, mother of pearl; 22.8 × 29.7 × 16.0 cm (9.0 × 11.7 × 6.3 in) Shimane Izumo Izumo-taisha Izumo-taisha, Izumo, Shimane Toiletry case Izumo Taisha.jpg

Dyeing and weaving[edit]

By the late 3rd century, sewing, followed later by weaving, was introduced to Japan from Korea. Early textiles were made of simple twisted cords from wisteria, mulberry, hemp or ramie fibres. Following a gift of silk clothes and silk worms from the Chinese court, the Japanese court started to support textile and silk production from the 4th century onward.[120] Chinese and Korean weavers were encouraged to exhibit their fabrics bringing new techniques such as those used to make brocades or delicate silk gauzes.[121] In the 8th century Nara period, Japanese weavers employed a variety of techniques such as tie-dyeing, stenciling, batik, and embroidery. They skillfully imitated continental weaves, including rich damasks, many types of brocades and chiffon-like gauzes.[121][122] Because of a general change in aesthetics in the Heian period weaving and dyeing techniques became less varied with less colourful brocades, smaller patterns, and less elaborate gauzes.[122] The Japanese aristocracy preferred plain silks over woven or dyed designs.[121] A total of seven National Treasures have been designated in the weaving and dyeing category, including: two mandalas, two monk's surplices or kesa, one brocade, one embroidery with a Buddhist motif and a set of garments presented to a shrine.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Old sacred treasures (古神宝類 koshinpōrui?)[123][124] Uwagi with phoenix on white koaoi floral scrolling plants ground in double pattern weave (白小葵地鳳凰文二重織 shirokoaoiji hōōmon futaeori?), two uchiki (wide-sleeved undergarment) with triple-crane roundels on purple ground in karaori weave (紫地向鶴三盛丸文唐織 murasakiji mukaizuru mitsumori marumon karaori?), usukōji saiwaibishimon ayaori (淡香地幸菱文綾織?), kōchiki (wide-sleeved robe) with kamon (flower-in-nest pattern) on yellow "hail" checkered ground in double pattern weave (黄地窠霰文二重織 kiji kaniararemon futaeori?). 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Various woven garments Kanagawa Kamakura Tsurugaoka HachimanguTsurugaoka Hachiman-gū, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Embroidery illustrating Sakyamuni Preaching (刺繍釈迦如来説法図 shishū shaka nyorai seppōzu?) or "Kajū-ji embroidery"[125] Preserved in Kajū-ji, Kyoto; depicts Shaka Nyorai preaching the Lotus Sutra on Griddhraj Parvat; Shaka is depicted wearing a red robe seated on a lion throne beneath a jeweled tree and canopy. He is surrounded by the ten principal disciples and lay people. Heavenly musicians and immortals riding on birds float above the clouds; probably produced in China 0710Nara period or Tang Dynasty, early 8th century Embroidery; embroidered silk: white plain-weave silk for the ground, French knots and chain stitch; 208 cm × 58.0 cm (81.9 in × 22.8 in) Nara Nara Nara National MuseumNara National Museum, Nara, Nara Embroidery Sakyamuni.jpg
Brocade with lion hunting (四騎獅子狩文錦 shiki shishi karimonkin?)[126] Stylistically resembling western, Persian art; thought to originate in western China 0618Tang Dynasty, 7th century Weft brocade; 250.0 cm × 134.5 cm (98.4 in × 53.0 in) Nara Ikaruga HoryujiHōryū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara Shiki Shishi Karimonkin.jpg
Taima Mandala (綴織当麻曼荼羅図 tsuzureori taima mandarazu?)[127] Image based on Contemplation Sutra; according to legend woven by Chūjō-hime from lotus stems 0710Nara period, 8th century Mandala Nara Nara TaimaderaTaima-dera, Nara, Nara Taima Mandala (detail).jpg
Quilted seven-strip Surplice (七条刺納袈裟 shichijō shinō kesa?)[128][129][130] Oldest clothing item in Japan as for items handed down from generation to generation; brought back by Saichō from Tang Dynasty China 0700Tang Dynasty, 8th century Kesa; quilted, linen ground of white, navy blue, brown and other colored fibres; 132 cm × 260 cm (52 in × 102 in) Shiga Otsu EnryakujiEnryaku-ji, Ōtsu, Shiga A piece of rectangular textile with thick brown stripes tiling the surface in rectangular multi-colored pieces.
Kenda Kokushi monk's surplice (犍陀穀糸袈裟 Kenda kokushi kesa?) and stole (横被 ōhi?)[131][132] Brought back by Kūkai from Tang Dynasty China; "kenda" is said to indicate its yellowish-red color and "kokushi" means tapestry weave; silk threads of various colors create tapestry weave pattern of clouds meant to resemble stains of funzo-e robes — the original kesa made of rags; worn by generation of elders at important ceremonies 0700Tang Dynasty, 8th century Kesa; dyed and woven silk; 116.8 cm × 237.0 cm (46.0 in × 93.3 in) Kyoto Kyoto TojiTō-ji, Kyoto Kenda Kokushi Kesa.jpg
Tenjukoku Shūchō Mandala (天寿国繡帳 tenjukoku shūchō?) fragments[133][134] Commissioned by Empress Suiko to commemorate Prince Shōtoku's death and likely used as part of funerary paraphernalia; depicting figures of one hundred tortoise shells bearing the names of deceased persons 0622Asuka period, 7th century, likely between 622 and 628 Tapistry fragments; embroidery; various size Nara Ikaruga ChugujiChūgū-ji, Ikaruga, Nara Tenjyukoku embroidery.jpg

Fragments Tenjyukoku embroidery.jpg

Armour[edit]

Armour has been employed in battles in Japan since the Yayoi period. Some of the oldest extant items from the 4th to the 7th centuries were excavated from kofun and have been designated as archaeological National Treasures. These ancient armours were of two types: a tight fitting solid plate cuirass (tankō) and a skirted lamellar type (keikō), both believed to be based on Chinese or Korean prototypes.[135][136][137] This list includes more recent pieces of armour, developed as result of a trend toward (lamellar) scale armour that began in Japan in the 6th to the 7th centuries and matured in the mid-Heian period (9th to 10th centuries).[138] Combining materials such as leather and silk with iron or steel parts, these armours had the advantage of being light, flexible, foldable and shock absorbent. They were generally lacquered to protect them from the humid climate and were used widely from the late Heian period to the mid-14th century.[136][138][139][140] A complete set consisted of a helmet, mask, neck guard, throat protector, breastplate with shoulder guards, sleeve armour, skirt, greaves, shoes and a pennant attached to the back.[141][142]

During this time, there were two popular kinds of armour: the ō-yoroi (lit. "great armour") with a boxlike appearance, mainly worn by high-ranking samurai on horseback, and the lighter and more flexible dō-maru that wrapped around the body and was initially worn by lower-ranking foot soldiers.[143][144][145] The ō-yoroi was made of leather and iron lames bound together in horizontal layers, ornamented and reinforced with leather, silk and gilt metal.[140] It originated around the 10th century but was only commonly used starting with the Genpei War at the end of the 12th century.[146] Being the most complete and elaborate Japanese armour, it was also worn for ceremonies.[147] The tighter fitting dō-maru, developed in the 11th century, was generally made of a combination of leather and metal and did not include a solid breastplate or sleeves.[145][146] In many cases its armour plates were replaced with scales of metal, leather or whalebone laced together with silk or leather cords.[148] Even though it was a plainer armour compared to the ō-yoroi, upper class samurai started to adopt it around 1300, as battles began to be fought on foot favouring a more comfortable suit.[143][146][149] Two dō-maru, fifteen ō-yoroi armours and one pair of gauntlets have been designated as National Treasures. Most of the items include a helmet and large sleeve protectors.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Armour laced with red threads (赤絲威鎧 akaitōdoshi yoroi?)[150][151][152] Helmet and large sleeves with chrysanthemum motif; also known as kiku ichimonji no yoroikabuta (菊一文字の鎧兜?); nomination includes the helmet and a Chinese style chest (唐櫃 karabitsu?) 1185late Kamakura period Ō-yoroi Aomori Hachinohe Kushibiki HachimanguKushibiki Hachiman-gū (櫛引八幡宮?), Hachinohe, Aomori
Armour with white triangular-pattern thread lacing (白絲威褄取鎧 shiroitōdoshi tsumadori yoroi?)[109][151][153][154] Nomination includes the helmet, cuirass, skirt and a Chinese style chest (唐櫃 karabitsu?) 1336late Nanboku-chō period, 14th century Ō-yoroi; iron, copper, gold, leather, lacquer, and silk; height of helmet bowl: 13.5 cm (5.3 in), cuirass height: 32.5 cm (12.8 in), skirt height: 29.5 cm (11.6 in) Aomori Hachinohe Kushibiki HachimanguKushibiki Hachiman-gū (櫛引八幡宮?), Hachinohe, Aomori
Armour laced with red threads (赤絲威鎧 akaitōdoshi yoroi?) Nomination includes the helmet; dedicated by Hatakeyama Shigetada in 1191 1100late Heian period Ō-yoroi Tokyo Ome Musashi Mitake ShrineMusashi Mitake Shrine (武蔵御嶽神社?), Ōme, Tokyo
Armour laced with red threads (赤絲威鎧 akaitōdoshi yoroi?)[155] With bamboo, tiger, sparrow motif; nomination includes the helmet; said to have been dedicated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune; one of two similar armours at Kasuga-taisha 1185Kamakura period Ō-yoroi Nara Nara Kasuga TaishaKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara Armour red threads Kasuga shrine.jpg
Armour laced with red threads (赤絲威鎧 akaitōdoshi yoroi?) With plum and Japanese Bush-warbler motif; nomination includes the helmet; one of two similar armours at Kasuga-taisha. 1185Kamakura period Ō-yoroi Nara Nara Kasuga TaishaKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara Kasuga Taisha Armour.jpg
Armour laced with red threads (赤絲威鎧 akaitōdoshi yoroi?) Nomination does not include the helmet; said to have been dedicated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune 0794Heian period Ō-yoroi Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine, Imabari, Ehime Oyamazumi Jinsha Armor (401).jpg
Black dōmaru armour laced with leather cords (黒韋威矢筈札胴丸 kuro kawaodoshi yahazuzane dōmaru?)[155] Offered by Kusunoki Masashige; nomination includes the helmet 1336late Nanboku-chō period Dō-maru; laced with leather cords (kawaodoshi) Nara Nara Kasuga TaishaKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara
Armour laced with white threads (白絲威鎧 shiroitōdoshi yoroi?) Nomination includes the helmet 1300late Kamakura period Ō-yoroi Shimane Izumo Hinomisaki ShrineHinomisaki Shrine (日御碕神社?), Izumo, Shimane
Armour with cherry-patterned leather lacing (小桜韋威鎧 kozakura kawaodoshi yoroi?) Handed down in the Takeda clan; also called tatenashi yoroi (楯無鎧?, lit. "nospear cuirass" or "shieldless" or "armour that needs not shield"); nomination includes the helmet 1100late Heian period Ō-yoroi; lacing pattern of cherry blossoms printed on leather (kozakura), laced with leather cords (kawaodoshi) Yamanashi Koshu Kandaten ShrineKandaten Shrine (菅田天神社?), Kōshū, Yamanashi
Red leather armour laced with leather cords (赤韋威鎧 aka kawaodoshi yoroi?)[156] Nomination includes the helmet 1100late Heian period Ō-yoroi; black lacquered iron and leather kozane (小札?) (c. 1800 small scales laced together with leather cords (kawaodoshi)), metal plates for the helmet; torso height: 40 cm (16 in) (front), 44 cm (17 in) (back); circumference: 91 cm (36 in), tassets height: 27 cm (11 in), helmet height: 13.3 cm (5.2 in), diameter: 20 cm (7.9 in), large sleeves: 46 cm × 33 cm (18 in × 13 in), weight c. 25 kg (55 lb) Okayama Okayama Okayama Prefectural MuseumOkayama Prefectural Museum, Okayama, Okayama
Armour with cherry-patterned yellow leather lacing (小桜韋黄返威鎧 kozakura kawa kigaeshi odoshi yoroi?)[157] Formerly belonged to Minamoto no Tametomo; nomination includes the helmet 1100late Heian period Ō-yoroi Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Itsukushima Jinsha Armor I (398).jpg
Armour laced with light light green silk braided threads (浅黄綾威鎧 asagi ayaodoshi yoroi?)[158] Nomination includes the helmet 1185Kamakura period, 12th century Ō-yoroi; black lacquered iron and leather kozane (小札?) (small scales laced together) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
Armour laced with navy blue threads (紺絲威鎧 konitoodoshi yoroi?)[159] Nomination includes the helmet; offered by Taira no Shigemori 0794Heian period Ō-yoroi; black lacquered iron and leather scales (小札 kozane?) laced together with a thick navy blue thread; silver plating Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Itsukushima Jinsha Armor II (399).jpg
Black dōmaru armour laced with leather cords (黒韋威胴丸 kuro kawaodoshi dōmaru?)[160] Nomination includes the helmet 0794Heian period Dō-maru; black lacquered iron and leather scales (小札 kozane?) laced together with leather cords (kawaodoshi) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
Armour laced with navy blue threads (紺絲威鎧 konitoodoshi yoroi?) Belonged to Kōno Michinobu (河野通信?); nomination includes the helmet 0794Heian period Ō-yoroi; scales (小札 kozane?) laced together with a thick navy blue thread Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine, Imabari, Ehime Oyamazumi Jinsha Armor (400).jpg
Armour laced in omodaka (water plantain) pattern (沢瀉威鎧 omodaka odoshi yoroi?) Triangular lacing pattern resembling the leaves of the water plantain; nomination includes the helmet; oldest ō-yoroi armour 0794early Heian period Ō-yoroi Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine, Imabari, Ehime
Armour laced with purple silk braided threads (紫綾威鎧 murasaki ayaodoshi yoroi?) Offered by Minamoto no Yoritomo; nomination does not include a helmet 1185Kamakura period Ō-yoroi Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine, Imabari, Ehime
Gauntlet (籠手 kote?)[109][161] Formerly in possession of Minamoto no Yoshitsune 1200Kamakura period, 13th century Pair of gauntlets or armored sleeves; iron, copper, gold, silk; length of each: 66.6 cm (26.2 in) Nara Nara Kasuga TaishaKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara

Others[edit]

There are 14 craft National Treasures that do not fit in any of the above categories. Six of these are large collections of items of various type offered to shrines and two are sets of Buddhist items such as platforms, canopies or banners.[4]

Name Remarks Date Type Present location Image
Old sacred treasures (古神宝類 koshinpōrui?)[162][163] 35 items, including one red lacquer bow, 30 black lacquer arrows (one arrow shaft is missing), two quivers and two long swords both with gold maki-e in ikakeji technique inlaid with mother of pearl decorations of apricot leaves 1185Kamakura period Height of quiver: 32.7 cm (12.9 in), length of long swords: 105.8 cm (41.7 in) Kanagawa Kamakura Kamakura Museum of National TreasuresKamakura Museum of National Treasures (owned by Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū), Kamakura, Kanagawa
Sacred Treasures of Asuka Shrine (阿須賀神社伝来 古神宝類 asuka jinja denrai gojinpōrui?)[164] Offers presented by worshippers to the Asuka Shrine (阿須賀神社 asuka jinja?) such as robes, a headdress, boxes, fans, shoes, a clothes rack, a toiletry case and mirrors 1400Nanboku-chō period/Muromachi period, 14th–15th century Various; metalworks, metalworks, lacquer, textiles, leather, wood Kyoto Kyoto Kyoto National MuseumKyoto National Museum, Kyoto Fusenryo coverlet.jpg
Objects and Equipments in Golden Hall (中尊寺金色堂堂内具 chūsonji konjikidōdō naigu?)[165] (i) Three canopies, (ii) a platform, (iii) three tables (螺鈿平塵案 raden hirachirian?), (iv) a rack (磬架 keika?), (v) three banners (金銅幡頭 kondō bantō?), (vi) six garlands (金銅華鬘 kondō keman?) of three types, (vii) a gong (孔雀文磬 kujaku monkei?) with eight petaled flower relief and pair of peacocks 0794Heian period Various; (i) lacquered wood with gold leaf stamping and eight-petaled openwork; frame diameter: 81.8 cm (32.2 in), inner circle plate diameter: 59 cm (23 in), 52 cm (20 in), 13 cm (5.1 in); (ii) height: 15.8 cm (6.2 in), 66.2 cm (26.1 in) square. (iii) mother of pearl, height: 42.7 cm (16.8 in), length: 25.1 and 25.4 cm (9.9 and 10.0 in), width: all 52.1 cm (20.5 in); (iv) 59 cm × 56 cm (23 in × 22 in); (v) gilt bronze openwork with arabesque pattern of vines; height: 90.9 cm (35.8 in), 11.6 cm (4.6 in), 9.3 cm (3.7 in), rhombus length: 29.0 and 22.4 cm (11.4 and 8.8 in); (vi) length: 29 cm (11 in), width: 33 and 57.5 cm (13.0 and 22.6 in); (vii) cast bronze; width at (top) 15.1 cm (5.9 in), (bottom) 16.9 cm (6.7 in) Iwate Hiraizumi Chusonji KonjikiinKonjiki-in (金色院?), Chūson-ji, Hiraizumi, Iwate Interior GoldenHall Chusonji.JPG
Equipments in Sutra repository (中尊寺経蔵堂内具 chūsonji kyōzōdō naigu?)[166] (i) Platform, (ii) table (螺鈿平塵案 raden hirachirian?), (iii) rack (磬架 keika?) for gong, (iv) candlestick (螺鈿平塵燈台 raden hirachiri shokudai?), (v) gong (孔雀文磬 kujaku monkei?) 0794Heian period Various; (i) black lacquered wood with metal ornaments and mother of pear inlay; height: 15.4 cm (6.1 in), 65.4 cm (25.7 in) square; (ii) lacquered wood with mother of pearl, height×length×width: 77.6 × 34.8 × 66.3 cm (30.6 × 13.7 × 26.1 in); (iii) wood with faded mother of pearl inlay; 57.8 cm × 55.1 cm (22.8 in × 21.7 in); (iv) gold lacquer with metal ornaments and mother of pearl inlay; height: 80.9 cm (31.9 in), bottom diameter : 24.8 cm (9.8 in); (v) cast bronze; width at (top) 13.4 cm (5.3 in), (bottom) 15.4 cm (6.1 in) Iwate Hiraizumi Chusonji DaichojuinDaichōju-in (大長寿院?), Chūson-ji, Hiraizumi, Iwate
Painted fan (彩絵桧扇 saie hiōgi?)[167][168] Painting in the ashide uta-e style that alludes to a poem through pictorialized kana and allegorical natural imagery forming a kind of rebus code 1176Heian period, late 12th century Color and gold on wood (Japanese cypress), 30 by 45 cm (12 by 18 in), Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Fan of Japanese Cypress ITUKUSHIMA shrine.JPG
Leather with grape arabesque pattern (葡萄唐草文染韋 budō karakusamon somekawa?) Contains also drawings of people and monks 0710Nara period, 8th century Deer leather; drawings in wax and smoked in pine needles; 76.7 cm × 66.7 cm (30.2 in × 26.3 in) Nara Nara TodaijiTōdai-ji, Nara, Nara Budo Karakusamon Somekawa.jpg
Stylized Garlands (牛皮華鬘 gohikeman?)[169] Originally belonged to Tō-ji; with Karyōbinga (winged female angels) motifs 1000Heian period, 11th century 13 ornaments and fragments; openwork cow leather, color, and cut gold leaf; height: 33.5–57.0 cm (13.2–22.4 in), width: 39.0–59.7 cm (15.4–23.5 in) Nara Nara Nara National MuseumNara National Museum, Nara, Nara Gohikeman 1.jpg

Gohikeman 2.jpg

Bamboo cabinet (竹厨子 takezushi?)[170][171] Repository for sutra scrolls; part of the Hōryū-ji treasures 0710Nara period, 8th century Wooden shelf board; bamboo; height: 55.1 cm (21.7 in), 40.0 cm × 75.1 cm (15.7 in × 29.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum, Tokyo Bamboo Cabinet Horuji.jpg
Old sacred treasures of Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社古神宝類 itsukushima jinja koshinpōrui?)[172] Includes long swords with boxes, garments, three folding fans, a scepter, arrows and chests and a ceremonial leather belt (石帯 sekitai?) 1183Heian period, 1183 (long sword box, small chest) Various; metalworks, wood; long sword: 64 cm (25 in), arrow: 18 cm (7.1 in), sekitai: 34 cm (13 in), scepter: 34 cm (13 in), folding fan: 16 cm (6.3 in) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineTreasure Hall, Itsukushima Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Itsukushima Jinsha Belongings of Antoku Tenno (403).jpg
Old sacred treasures (本宮御料古神宝類 hongū goryō koshinpōrui?)[173] 292 items, including: a staff ( nusa?), spears, swords, a bow, a maki-e koto, boxes, a dresser, toiletry cases, a vase, assorted trees 0794Heian period Various; metalworks, lacquer, wood, pottery; maki-e koto: 153 cm (60 in) long Nara Nara Kasuga ShrineKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara MAKIE NO KOTO KASUGA Shrine Infrared.JPG
Old sacred treasures (若宮御料古神宝類 wakamiya goryō koshinpōrui?)[173] 49 items, including: bows, a spear, cranes, crystal pearls, a koto, swords, a shō, a six-stringed zither (和琴 wagon?), arrows, guardian lion-dogs, figures 1100Heian period, 12th century Various; metalworks, lacquer, wood Nara Nara Kasuga ShrineKasuga-taisha, Nara, Nara
Old sacred treasures (古神宝類 koshinpōrui?) Offers presented by worshippers to the Kumano Hayatama Taisha; includes garments, mirrors, boxes, tweezers, scissors, combs, plates, writing brushes, vases, crystall balls, bags, desks, chests, a saddle, a whip, folding fans, swords, shoes, pestles, bows and arrows, etc. 1336Muromachi period Various (c. 1000 items) Wakayama Shingu Kumano Hayatama TaishaKumano Hayatama Taisha, Shingū, Wakayama
Amulet cases (懸守 kakemamori?)[174] Worn by women as accessory around their neck; design of: lions, shippō-hanabashi (七宝花菱?) pattern, cherry-circles, cherry branches, pine tree-crane (two cases), incense burners respectively 1100late Heian period Seven amulet cases Osaka Osaka ShitennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka Shitennoji Monastery Amulet (393).jpg
Tablet (牙笏 geshaku?),[175]
Round inkstone of blue and white porcelain (青白磁円硯 seihakujienken?),[176]
Tortoise shell comb (玳瑁装牙櫛 taimaisōge no kushi?),[177]
Small ornamental knife with rhinoceros horn handle (犀角柄刀子 saikakuetōzu?),[178]
Leather belt with silver plating (銀装革帯 ginsōkakutai?),[179]
Mirror with Bo Ya playing the koto (伯牙弾琴鏡 hakugadankinkyō?)[180]
Reportedly the relics of Sugawara no Michizane; despite its name the inkstone is made of white (not blue) porcelain and lacks its feet; comb with seven carved flowers and a red color from tortoise shell; mirror with eight floral patterns with a person on the left (possibly not Bo Ya) playing the koto and on the right a Chinese phoenix spreading its wings 0794Heian period Various; ivory (tablet), porcelain (inkstone), ivory (comb), rhinoceros horn (knife handle) and silver fittings (around knife handle), leather with silver plating (belt), cast copper (mirror) Osaka Fujiidera Domyoji TenmanguDōmyōji Tenmangū, Fujiidera, Osaka

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Only the oldest period is counted, if a National Treasure consists of items from more than one period.
  2. ^ This includes all items in this list, that is, all craft National Treasures of Japan that are neither swords nor sword mountings.
  3. ^ In fact four gongs and one gong stand are National Treasures. The gong associated with the gong stand is a later replacement and not part of the National Treasure.
  4. ^ Two National Treasures consist of one mirror each, one National Treasure is a set of two mirrors.
  5. ^ Strap running from the cantle of the saddle to the horse's dock.
  6. ^ Straps attached to the bit for controlling the horse.
  7. ^ A type of metal fittings.
  8. ^ NDL: 胸繋; Straps used to secure the saddle fork in relation to the horse's breast.
  9. ^ Headpiece resting over the poll and along the nose ridge, supported by browband.
  10. ^ On Azuma Road/Crossing the boat-bridge of Sano,/Crossing my mind/Thoughts that no one knows.[113]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]