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Majestic Dragons: Art Worthy of Kan'eiji Temple Grandeur



2023.11.01 (Wed)

By Dan Lewis, inbound tourism adviser and consultant, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

As part of a commemorative project for Kan'eiji Temple which will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2025, renowned Japanese artist Yuji Tezuka, also a Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University of the Arts, was commissioned to create a monumental ceiling painting for the Nemoto-chudo Hall. This awe-inspiring artwork, named Eigaku Soryu (Eigaku Soryu: double dragon), measures an impressive 6 meters in height and 12 meters in width. Recently unveiled at a press conference on October 13, 2023, it is set to be unveiled and officially dedicated at Kan'eiji Temple in a grand ceremony in 2025, marking the temple's momentous milestone.

Yuji Tezuka's artistic journey has been marked by notable achievements. A recipient of prestigious awards, including the Japan Art Institute Prize and the Taikan Prize, his talent and dedication to his craft have garnered him recognition in the art world. Tezuka's influence extends beyond exhibitions, with roles such as Executive Director of the Japan Art Institute and board member of the Yokoyama Taikan Memorial Museum. His retirement exhibition at The University Art Museum showcased his masterwork, "Meiji Jingu Nairin Gobonbu (Sun, Moon, Four Seasons, Flowers and Birds)", highlighting his enduring legacy in the art community.

Toeizan Kan'eiji Temple, founded in 1625, holds a rich history as a place of prayer for the peace and security of the Shogunate and its people. Serving as a family temple for the Tokugawa Shoguns since the time of the fourth Shogun, Ietsuna, Kan'eiji Temple has stood as a beacon of authority, style, and size in the realm of Japanese temples.

The creation of this magnificent ceiling painting is a testament to the temple's enduring commitment to praying for peace and tranquility for centuries to come. Visitors are encouraged to witness this monumental artwork and be a part of the celebration of Kan'eiji Temple's 400 years of legacy in 2025. Don't be 'dragon' your heels - head over to Kan'eiji Temple and witness Yuji Tezuka's soaring masterpiece in all its glory!

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