Important Cultural PropertyYokuzôkyô (Sutra for Bathing Statues)

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  • Handscroll
  • Height 25.5cm, Length 197.0cm
  • Nara period, 8th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲65

This sutra, also known as the Sutra on the Merits of Bathing the Buddha (J., Yokubutsu kudokukyo), was translated by the Chinese monk Yijing (635-713) of the Tang dynasty (618-907) and explains the ways to ritually bathe Buddhist statues and the merits in performing this act. The present volume was copied in Tenpyo Hoji 5 (761) by oishi no Kebito (n.d.), who was a sutra copyist for the Imperial Sutra Copying Bureau and Bureau for Sutra Offerings. Oishi no Kebito was also known as a instructor of the sho (a reed-like instrument) for a gagaku (court music) group. Like the sutra edition known as Zenko shuinkyo, the paper-mulberry paper was used for this sutra. The black seals stamped on the upper section and lower left of the postscript indicate that this scripture originally belonged to Horyu-ji Temple.