Cultural Properties in 8K: The National Treasure “Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku” 2019

Tokyo National Museum

poster for Cultural Properties in 8K: The National Treasure “Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku” 2019

Ends in 2 days

The Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku is a national treasure that once adorned the Hall of Paintings of Horyuji Temple in Nara. It was painted in 1069, almost one thousand years ago, based on the legends surrounding the life of Prince Shotoku (574-622). Although many later versions were painted, this painting is recognized as the oldest surviving version. Through its long history, much of its original vibrancy and detail has been lost, making it difficult to appreciate in its current form.

The 8K Art Viewer is an application that allows users to view high-resolution images of the Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku on a large-screen 8K monitor. As they navigate the tablet, the viewer is able to enlarge the details of the painting far beyond the capabilities of the naked eye, and are even able to see Prince Shotoku’s subtle facial expressions. Informative explanations about each episode in Prince Shotoku’s life are also available.

This year, while the Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku is exhibited at the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, the 8K Art Viewer will also be on display in an interactive area. Visitors will have a chance to learn about the legendary life of Prince Shotoku and examine this ancient masterpiece as never before possible.

Venue: Room 6, The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures



from October 29, 2019 to November 24, 2019


Chitei Hata


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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