Flower Garland Sutra Kegon-gy

Object ID: 1983.004.001
Object: Calligraphy, handscroll fragment; ink on paper
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: Fujiwara Period, 9th to 12th century
Size: 12.38×6.25
Credit: gift of Tarō Yamamoto

This is a three-line, hand-written sutra fragment, from the holdings of the Hōryu temple, called Flower Garland (Kegon) sutra no. 25 (Hōryuji issai kyo no uchi, kegon-gyō dai 25 ban). Sutras were portioned for any number of reasons; this example may have been partly damaged or destroyed. The practice of dividing sutra into parts and dispersing it among private collectors (mounting fragments on screens has been popular) is also known to have affected the holdings of even some of Japan’s great temples, as evident in this fragment coming from Hōryuji, one of the greatest Buddhist Temples located in the vicinity on Nara, the old capital of Japan.