Panoramic View of Mount Koya

18th century (Edo period)

Sakai City Museum
Sakai-shi, Osaka, Japan

The painting depicts the temples of the Mount Koya, or Koya-san, which attracts numerous worshippers as the center of Shingon Buddhism, along with the pilgrimage paths to the temples. The golden clouds roughly divide the picture into four parts; on the top is Danjo Garan, the area with the main sacred buildings; below is Okunoin, the mausoleum of Kūkai, surrounded by an immense graveyard; and further below, in the inverted triangular area, are many sub-temples. In the part on its sides are two pilgrimage path seen in and out in the mountains. Major buildings and famous, or scenic, sites have small labels, supposedly original, attached nearby, to identify their names.
Danjo Garan were almost burnt down in the fire of 1630. Most of the buildings there were rebuild and shown in this picture but the Kanjo-do (hall of initiation ritual) behind the Kon-do main hall still only shows the pillar base stones. It is noted that the landscape like this was only seen during around 1736 to 1760 and the style of painting suggests the production date of this work is also in around the same period.


  • Title: Panoramic View of Mount Koya
  • Date Created: 18th century (Edo period)
  • Original Source: Sakai City Museum
  • Medium: two-panel folding screen / color on paper

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