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Fragmentary Volume of Senju Sengen Daranikyo Sutra (Also Known as Genbogankyo)
National treasure
Height 25.5cm Width 246cm
Nara period/8th century
Kyoto National Museum
This fragmentary volume of <i>Sutra of the Incantation of the One Thousand Armed, One Thousand Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva</i> (J., <i>Senju Sengen Daraniky&ocirc;</i>) is the only extant portion of the one thousand scrolls of this sutra copied by the priest Genb&ocirc; (d. 746), starting on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of 741 (Tenpy&ocirc; 13). Genb&ocirc; dedicated these scrolls wishing for the long reign and long life of Emperor Sh&ocirc;mu (701-756, r. 724-749), as well as the well being of the civil and military officials and people of the kingdom. Although this Chinese Buddhist text is missing its first section, the annotations in red and black ink, serving as grammatical markers and reading aids, are important in the study of the early Japanese language.