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TOKYO

‘Roots of Zen: Yosai and the Treasures of Kenninji’

Tokyo National Museum

by Sang Woo Kim

Staff Writer

Kenninji is the oldest of what is known as the Kyoto Gozan, the five leading Zen Buddhist temples of Kyoto. It houses various artworks but is particularly famous for the designated national treasure “Fujin-Raijin” (“The Wind and Thunder Gods”), a gold-leaf embellished screen painting by the 17th-century artist Tawaraya Sotatsu.

To commemorate the 800th memorial of Yosai (also known as Eisai) — the monk who founded Kenninji and first introduced Zen Buddhism and the Tea Ceremony to Japan — the Tokyo National Museum has curated an exhibition of historical and aesthetic works from Kyoto, including the original “Fujin-Rajin.” Numerous other Important Cultural Properties of Japan from Kennjinji will also be display, notably the “Unryu-zu” (“The Wind Dragon”) scrolls; till May 18.

Tokyo National Museum, Heiseikan; 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Ueno Stn. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Fri. till 8 p.m., Sat., Sun., holidays till 6 p.m.). 1,600. Closed Mon. 03-5777-8600; www.tnm.jp