National TreasureFragmentary Volume of Senju Sengen Daranikyo Sutra (Also Known as Genbogankyo)

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  • Height 25.5cm Width 246cm
  • Nara period/8th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲62

This fragmentary volume of Sutra of the Incantation of the One Thousand Armed, One Thousand Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (J., Senju Sengen Daranikyô) is the only extant portion of the one thousand scrolls of this sutra copied by the priest Genbô (d. 746), starting on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of 741 (Tenpyô 13). Genbô dedicated these scrolls wishing for the long reign and long life of Emperor Shômu (701-756, r. 724-749), as well as the well being of the civil and military officials and people of the kingdom. Although this Chinese Buddhist text is missing its first section, the annotations in red and black ink, serving as grammatical markers and reading aids, are important in the study of the early Japanese language.