Takada Honzan Senjuji Temple in Mie Prefecture said it found two pieces of paper that apparently contain the original handwriting of Shinran (1173-1263), founder of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist sect.
The papers were found inside the six-book archive Saihoshinansho believed to have been written by the monk around 1256, when he was 84 years old, the temple said.
One piece of paper, 10.5 centimeters by 3.9 cm, was found in the fourth volume. Written on the paper was "Shakukakushin," the name of one of Shinran's followers.
The other piece of paper, measuring 26.3 cm by 16.2 cm, was found in the fifth volume. It features the name of Shinran's disciple, "Shakushosho," and the title of the book.
The temple said the pieces of paper were likely used as book covers.
Shinran has gained renewed interest from the general public in recent years for his teachings on salvation.
The Saihoshinansho archive, designated as a national treasure by the government in 1953, contains Buddhist sermons, letters and codes of conduct of Honen, Shinran's master and the founder of the Jodo Shu Buddhist sect.
They are the oldest records of Honen's words and deeds.
The temple, headed by Tokiwai Ranyu, leader of the Shinshu Takada Buddhism denomination, is home to the Shinshu Takada branch of the Shinshu Buddhism sect, in Tsu.
The papers will be on display at the "Honen and Shinran: Treasures Related to the Great Masters of Kamakura Buddhism" exhibition at Tokyo National Museum starting on Oct. 25.
- « Prev
- Next »