Carved and painted wooden screen depicting the life of a Buddhist saint. The screen was believed when it was acquired to depict the adventures of Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), who established Jodo Shinshu, the Pure Land sect of Buddhism. Shinran spent the first part of his life as a Buddhist monk, but after twenty years he realised that he was no nearer enlightenment. He renounced the priesthood and left the monastery, later finding inner peace in an unorthodox faith focussing on the buddha Amida. Shinran attracted many followers, which upset the established monastic orders, and he was banished by the Imperial Court. During his years in exile, Shinran met with countless people and converted them to his faith. Eventually he retired to Kyoto to write books about religion, many of which are still read today. The frame has a mon, or family crest, depicting a paulownia. This crest is not used by Shinran temples, which again suggests that the scenes are not from his life. No alternative has yet been suggested.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: