Important Cultural PropertyRelic container

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  • Excavated from a ruin of Mishima temple in Ōda, Ibaraki-city, Osaka Prefecture
  • 4 pieces
  • Nara period/8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-14297~E-14300

Mishima Haiji Temple is an ancient temple with a Horyuji-type temple layout and estimated to be the family temple of the Ota clan, a family who came from overseas. In 1907, the foundation stone of the temple tower was discovered, from which containers for Buddha's bones, which had been stored in a central space for Buddha's bones, were excavated. The containers for Buddha's bones excavated from the Mishima Haiji Temple comprised four cases made of gold, silver, copper and marble. A gold inner case was put inside a silver middle case, both of which were then placed in a copper bowl with a lid and then in a marble outer case. While the gold inner case is created by folding a gold sheet, the middle case and the bowl with a lid are cast in silver and copper respectively and the outer case is carved out of marble. Thus, containers for Buddha's bones used to be decorated by processing beautiful materials like gold, silver and marble via various techniques.