Lotus Sutra, chapter 24‐25

Historical period(s)
Late Heian period, 1141
Bronze with gilding
H x W x D: 21.2 × 17.9 × 0.2 cm (8 3/8 × 7 1/16 × 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Sylvan Barnet and William Burto
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Buddhism, casting, gilding, Japan, Late Heian (Fujiwara) period (897 - 1185), Lotus Sutra
Provenance research underway.

This sutra, engraved on a flat copper plaque, comes from a set of thirty-seven gilt‐copper plates with text from the Lotus Sutra inscribed on both sides that were recovered from a burial in Ōita Prefecture in northern Kyushu where they were placed soon after their production in 1141. These were buried to preserve them through the period of mappō (the Latter Day of the Law), a chaotic age that Japanese Buddhists believed had begun in the 1052 and would continue until the appearance of the next Buddha, Miroku (Maitreya). Sutra scrolls encased in bronze or ceramic jars were also buried in stone‐lined pits with small sculptures and other sacred objects.

Published References
  • Sherry Fowler. Containers of Sacred Text and Image at 12th-century Shōanji in Kyushu. vol. 74, no. 1 Zurich, 2014. fig. 10.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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