Hoke-kyō (Saddharma-puṇḍarīka sūtra), Vol.8

Organization control number
Cultural property designation
Important Cultural P
Era century
Heian period, 12th century
Item shape
Handscroll, ink on coloured paper with gold and si
H 24.8, L 764.3; 16 papers
Nara National Museum
The Hoke-kyō (Saddaharma-puṇḍarīka sūtra or the Lotus sutra) was highly respected during the Nara period as a Buddhist scripture which was thought to be effective in preventing crimes and protecting the nation. According to the text of this sutra, women and even bad people can attain Buddhahood. Copying sutras was considered as a pious act. During the Heian period when the Tendai sect of Buddhism, which considered the Hoke-kyō sutra as their principal Buddhist scripture, became influential, more and more people began to pay respect to the Hoke-kyō sutra. Several Buddhist rituals and Buddhist events concerning the Hoke-kyō sutra, such as Hokke Hakkō"", became popular among the court nobles, and various kinds of decorative Hoke-kyō sutra scrolls began to be produced. The Hoke-kyō sutra scrolls introduced in this article belong to those decorative scrolls. These sutra scrolls, which consist of eight complete volumes, have an uncommon characteristic: the paper of each scroll is individually colored. For example, the paper of the first volume is light blue, that of the third volume is light green, the seventh volume is light purple, and the color of the eighth volume is light brown. Lines between letters are drawn in gold, and pieces of gold and silver foils are scattered sparsely across the surface of the paper. Letters are bold and written in wayō (Japanese) style. At the end of each volume there is an inscription saying that the sutra scroll was delivered to Daisen-gongen Saimyō-in temple. It is thus known that these sutra scrolls had been kept in Daisen-ji temple in the province of Hōki (today's Tottori prefecture).""

Related URL


Hoke-kyō (Saddharma-puṇḍarīka sūtra), Vol.1-8

Heian period, 12th century

Important Cultural P

Nara National Museum