Nara National Museum: Presentation of Buddhism

The Nara National Museum is located in Nara Koen, a park around which are the temples Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji and the shrine Kasuga-taisha. The museum is distinguished by its focus on collecting and preserving cultural properties, including old works of art with a deep connection to Buddhism, and archaeological relics. To help visitors understand Buddhist art, the museum concentrates on a genealogical presentation of Buddhism and the transformation of Buddhism. Just as western art is much influenced by Christianity, so is Japanese art by Buddhism. Thus no discussion of Japanese art is complete without reference to Buddhism. Learning about developments in Buddhist art offers a glimpse of Japanese history. Visitors can also find out more about the history of Buddhism itself through exhibits showing the distribution of temples by age.