Important Cultural PropertyZoku Kôsôden (The Continued Biographies of Eminent Priests), Volume 28 (also known as Empress Kômyô Prayer Sutra)

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  • Handscroll
  • Height 26.7cm, Length 751.0cm
  • Nara period, 8th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲54

This scripture comes from the entire compendium of Buddhist sutras that Empress Komyo (701-60) had transcribed to pray for the repose of her deceased father Fujiwara Fuhito and mother Lady Tachibana and to reaffirm her own Buddhist vows. In actuality, the transcription took over ten years beginning in 738 (Tenpyo 8), and because the prayer in the sutra dates to the first day of the fifth month of 740 (Tenpyo 12), the sutra is often called the “Sutra of the First Day of the Fifth Month.” Its provenance and brush style make it an exemplary copied sutra from the Nara period (710-794).