Calligraphy is about more than just the message contained in the writing. The spirit and aesthetic sensibilities of the calligrapher are also conveyed in the type of paper used, the arrangement of the characters, the ink shadings, and the writing style. This museum has a diverse collection of calligraphic works, from lavishly decorated sutras to letters written by emperors, nobles and samurai.

Attributed to Emperor Shomu: Segment of the ‘Sudatta Raises a Monastery’ Section of the Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish (Ojomu)  Nara Period, 8th Century

Volume 5 of the Myohorenge-kyo (Lotus Sutra)   Paper with bird pattern   Heian Period, 11th Century

Shobunrishinge-hon, Daihannyaharamitta-kyo (Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra), Volume 213   Heian Period, 12th Century  Gold and silver on dark-blue paper

Taira no Yukimori: Two Waka Poems on the Lotus Sutra Heian Period, 12th Century

Emperor Go-Kashiwabara: Letters Muromachi Period, end of 15th–start of 16th Century

Sen no Rikyu: Entited ‘tadaima no hana’ Letter to Shiba Kenmotsu    Muromachi Period, 16th Century

Emperor Goyozei: Image of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro with Inscription   Azuchi-Momoyama Period, end of 16th–start of 17th Century

Karasumaru Mitsuhiro: Waka Poem – ‘Snow-capped Mount Fuji’   Edo Period, 17th Century

Empress Meisho: Imperial Letter with Poem Draft Entitled ‘Please’    Edo period, 17th century