Special Exhibition Celebrating the Cyclical Rebuilding of Wakamiya Shrine
Splendors of Court Devotion
Shrine Treasures from Wakamiya and Kasuga Taisha in Nara
In October 2022, Wakamiya Shrine, part of Kasuga Taisha in Nara, marked the completion of the rebuilding (gozōtai) of its honden, or main structure (Important Cultural Property). The cyclical occasions of gozōtai involve not only rebuilding the architectural structures of shrines, but also the reproduction of the shrine’s sacred treasures and furnishings. Since ancient times, gozōtai happened in ceremonial years (shikinen), by and large every two decades. This special exhibition commemorates the conclusion of the major projects surrounding Wakamiya’s shikinen.
The Wakamiya deity is said to have been born as the child of the four Kasuga deities in the Hour of the Snake (around 10:00 a.m.) on the third day of the third month of the year 1003 (Chōhō 5). Widely worshiped as a deity of water, good harvest, and learning, he goes by the name of Ame no Oshikumone no Mikoto, or, more concisely, Gosho no Miko (“The Fifth Deity”). You may know of Wakamiya from the Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri ritual held every December. With a tradition of nearly nine hundred years since its inception in 1136 (Hōen 2), it is known throughout Japan as a Grand Festival involving all of Yamato, the geographical region that encompasses Nara.
This exhibition presents the magnificent world of court culture in the Heian period (794–1185) through dedicatory items like swords, bows, and furnishings. These treasures display the most advanced techniques of their time. They were presented to the Wakamiya deity by the Fujiwara regent family and other powerful Heian-period courtiers. The exhibition also introduces ancient festivals, shrine rituals, and performing arts. In addition, through historical materials and artifacts related to past and present gozōtai occasions of rebuilding, it revives the zeal and efforts of the people who supported the projects.
Saturday, December 10th, 2022 (Reiwa 4) – Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 (Reiwa 5)
With the exception of January 2nd and January 9th, the museum is closed on Mondays.
The museum is also closed from December 28th to January 1st
In general, the museum is closed on Mondays.
However, the museum will be open on Monday, January 2nd and on Monday, January 9th. The museum is closed from December 28th to January 1st and on Tuesday, January 10th.
9:30 a.m. –5:00 p.m.
Last entry is thirty minutes before closing.
The East Wing and West Wing, Nara National Museum
|Same-day Tickets||Advance-Purchase Tickets|
|General Admission||1,600 yen||1,400 yen|
|High School and University Students||1,400 yen||1,200 yen|
|Elementary and Junior High School Students||700 yen||500 yen|
Nara National Museum, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, The Asahi Shimbun Company, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Nara Station, NHK Enterprises, INC. Kinki
With the Support of:
ODAGUMI Co., Ltd., Tenrijihosha Co.
With the Cooperation of:
Nippon Kodo Co., Ltd., Bukkyō Bijutsu Kyōkai (Buddhist Art Foundation)