The Influence of the Buddhist Sculptor Unkei: With a Focus on Koen and Zen’en

Tokyo National Museum

poster for The Influence of the Buddhist Sculptor Unkei: With a Focus on Koen and Zen’en
[Image: Seated Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) from the sculptures of Monju Bosatsu “On a lion with attendants” (detail) by Koen, formerly passed down at Kofukuji, Nara, Kamakura period, dated 1273 (Important Cultural Property)]

Ends in 14 days

The realistic style of the Buddhist sculptor Unkei (d. 1223), with its powerful, dynamic forms and rich expression of volume, had an undeniable influence on the sculptors of later generations. Unkei’s grandson, Koen (b. 1207), for example, inherited his grandfather’s style and succeeded in making it more approachable, while the sculptors of the Zenpa school, including Zen’en (1197–1258), elaborated on Unkei’s style in the Nara region. This thematic exhibition explores how these sculptors inherited and transformed the style of Unkei in the Kamakura period (1192–1333).



from August 29, 2017 to December 03, 2017


Koen, Zen’en et al.


Adults ¥620, University Students ¥410, High School Students and under, Under 18s and Seniors over 70 free. Special Exhibition Fees may be charged separately.

Venue Hours

From 9:30 To 17:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Closing hour might changed depending on season. On a Public Holiday Monday, the museum is open, but closed on the following Tuesday.


Address: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8712
Phone: 03-5777-8600

10 minutes walk from Ueno or Uguisudani Station on the JR Yamanote Line, 15 minutes walk from Ueno Station on the Ginza or Hibiya Lines or 15 minutes walk from Keisei Ueno Station on the Keisei Line.

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