Hanzomon Museum in Central Tokyo Opens to the Public

April 25, 2018
Tokyo, Japan

Shinnyo-en’s Yushin Center in Central Tokyo is home to the new Hanzomon Museum, which opened to the general public on April 19th. Built to house Buddhist artwork, the new cultural facility is part of Shinnyo-en’s ongoing efforts to contribute to society and promote culture and exchange stemming from art. The museum spans three floors of exhibits and offers a tranquil setting for visitors to enjoy and learn about Buddhism’s history and diverse culture, as well as find space for relaxation.

The internal architectural design of the Hanzomon Museum was commissioned to Mr. Akira Kuryu, who designed the main exhibition space by picturing a spatial representation of a temple hall that can enshrine various buddhas, with the entrance hall maintaining an openness that is full of light.

Mr. Kuryu reflected on the design recently stating, “The travertine floors of layered marble and walls reminiscent of a rock chamber help to create a space for nurturing spirituality, calling upon our inherent sense of faith.”

The intention behind the museum’s glass walls that resemble Japanese paper was to “allow soft, natural light to be diffused in the room during the day, while having the same light emanate as if from paper-framed lamps, inspiring a sophisticated urban scenery at night.”

One of the most prominent sculptures to be found at the Hanzomon Museum is that of Mahavairocana, considered the primordial buddha in esoteric Buddhism and believed to be the work of Unkei. Visitors will also find bas-relief depictions of the Buddha’s life from Gandhara on permanent display, as well as rotating exhibits from Shinnyo-en’s collection of Buddhist statues, paintings and scriptures.

In addition to artwork, the museum houses a theater which will regularly show films around Buddhist culture, and a hall that can hold lectures. You can learn more about the museum, as well as current exhibitions and events, by visiting https://www.hanzomonmuseum.jp/en/.