They found what in the Great Buddha?!

Sample newspaper article


胎内に入って大仏に直接触れられるため、一部の拝観者が付けたとみられる。損傷を調べた国立西洋美術館学芸課の邊牟木尚美・保存修復室長によると、ガムは石のように硬くなっていて手術用のメスを使って削り取った。チョークや油性ペンの落書きもあったという。 (KYODO)

Words and phrases

神奈川県 かながわけん Kanagawa Prefecture

鎌倉市 かまくらし Kamakura city

高徳院 こうとくいん Kotokuin Temple

鎌倉大仏 かまくらだいぶつ The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu)

阿弥陀如来 あみだにょらい Amida Buddha

坐像 ざぞう seated figure

国宝 こくほう national treasure

健康診断 けんこうしんだん physical examination

2016年1~3月 にせんじゅうろくねんいちからさんがつ January through March of 2016

実施 じっし carrying out

大規模 だいきぼ large-scale

調査 ちょうさ examination

結果 けっか result

4月22日 しがつにじゅうににち April 22

市内 しない within a city

発表 はっぴょう announcement

専門家ら せんもんから experts

深刻 しんこく serious

劣化 れっか deterioration

状態 じょうたい condition

良好 りょうこう satisfactory

胎内 たいない interior of a Buddha statue

100カ所以上 ひゃっかしょいじょう more than 100 places

こびり付く こびりつく to stick to

明らかにする あきらかにする to make public

入る はいる to enter

直接 ちょくせつ direct

触れる ふれる to touch

一部の いちぶの part of

拝観者 はいかんしゃ visitor

付けた つけた to stick

損傷 そんしょう damage

調べる しらべる to research

国立西洋美術館 こくりつせいようびじゅつかん National Museum of Western Art

学芸課 がくげいか fine arts division

邊牟木尚美 へむきなおみ Naomi Hemuki

保存修復室長 ほぞんしゅうふくしつちょう head of the conservation division

石 いし rock

硬い かたい hard

手術用 しゅじゅつよう for surgical use

メス scalpel

使う つかう to use

削り取る けずりとる to scrape off

油性ペン ゆせいペン permanent marker

落書き らくがき graffiti

Quick questions

1) 「健康診断」はいつ行われましたか。

2) 大仏の状態はどうでしたか。

3) ガムをとるのに何を使いましたか。


On April 22, the results of a “physical exam” that the national treasure The Great Buddha of Kamakura (located at Kotokuin Temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture) received from January to March 2016, were announced at a local symposium. The Great Buddha is a statute of the seated figure of Amida Buddha.

Experts said there was no serious deterioration and its condition was satisfactory. However, they revealed that in the interior of the statue they found more than 100 pieces of gum that had been stuck to the statue.

Since the statue can be touched directly when you enter it, it appears that some visitors stuck gum on the inside of the statue. According to Naomi Hemuki, the head of the conservation division at the National Museum of Western Art who conducted the research, the gum had hardened like a rock and had to be removed with a surgical scalpel. They also found graffiti that had been done with chalk and permanent marker.


1) When did the “physical examination” take place?


January through March of 2016.

2) How was the condition of the Great Buddha?


There was no serious deterioration and the condition was satisfactory.

3) What was used to scrape the gum off?


A surgical scalpel.