Special Exhibitions & Feature Exhibitions

Feature Exhibition

Treasures of Tōdaiji’s Omizutori Ritual

The Omizutori ritual is famed for signaling the advent of spring, but the ceremony is actually called Shuni-e, which is a ritual of repentance performed before the Jūichimen Kannon statue of the Nigatsudō Hall at Tōdaiji temple. Known as keka in Japanese, the ritual combines prayers for good fortune and to avoid calamity with the rite seeking forgiveness for transgressions. It is thought that the Omizutori ritual was first conducted by the priest Jitchū in the fourth year of the Tenpyō-Shōhō era (752), and thus has a history over 1,250 years in length. The ritual has overcome a variety of tribulations, such as the burning of Nara by the warriors of the Taira clan in the 12th century, the fire that destroyed the Nigatsudō Hall during the Edo period, and the danger of air raids during the Second World War. Omizutori, which has never failed to be conducted over this lengthy period of over 1,250 years and has come to be called the “ceaseless ritual,” can truly be deemed a living cultural heritage of Japan.

This exhibition is timed to coincide with the period of the Omizutori ritual. Painting, calligraphy, works of the applied arts, and archaeological artifacts associated with the ritual were first assembled under one roof in 1997. Having met with public favor ever since, the exhibition appears to have already garnered the status of an annual event. With this exhibition, we hope to deepen understanding of Omizutori and introduce its boundless charm to the public.

二月堂縁起(断簡)部分 東大寺蔵


Saturday, February 6th–Sunday, March 21st, 2021 (Reiwa 3)
The Museum is closed on Mondays (except for February 8th, March 1st and 8th).


The East Wing, Nara National Museum


9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

*On Saturdays, hours are extended to 7:00 P.M
*Last entry is 30 minutes before the museum closes.


General AdmissionHigh School/College Students


Nara National Museum, Todaiji, Bukkyo Bijutsu Kyōkai (Buddhist Art Foundation)


  • デジタルビューア
  • e国賓
  • なら仏像館
  • ColBase