Important Cultural Property

Illustrated Sutra of Past and Present Karma


Period Nara period, 8th century
Materials and techniques Handscroll, colour on paper
Size 26.7×154.5


Ingakyō (Past and Present Sutra of Karma) is a sutra comprising four volumes depicting Sakyamuni’s life and the story of his previous incarnation. E-ingakyō is the illustrated version with pictures added in the upper half of each scroll. The depiction of the robes and the scene structure are reminiscent of the style of the Six dynasties period of China, which was its model, but in the detailed depiction and the facial expressions the mild sensitivities of a Japanese artist are evident. It is a precious example of Nara period painting, of which not many remain.

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