Important Cultural PropertyJishin Bonten kyô (Brahmadeva Sutra), Volume 4 (Offered by Empress Kômyô on the First Day of the Fifth Month)

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  • Handscroll
  • Height 26.3cm, Length 1053.0cm
  • Nara period, 8th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲60

This manuscript belongs to a set of the entire sutra compendium that Empress Komyo (701-60) commissioned in memory of her late parents Fujiwara Fuhito and Lady Tachibana and to pledge her own devotion to the Buddhist faith. The transcription of this set actually took over ten years beginning in 738 (Tenpyo 8). It is commonly known as the “Sutra of the First Day of the Fifth Month,” due to the fact that the prayer inscribed in it is dated on the first day of the fifth month of 740 (Tenpyo 12). Its provenance and brush style make it an outstanding example of a copied sutra from the Nara period (710-794).