Photo/IllutrationAll the 1,001 Buddhist statues, “Mokuzo Senju Kannon Ryuzo,” are assembled together in Sanjusangendo hall in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward on Oct. 2. (Ryo Kato)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KYOTO--For the first time in 26 years, all the 1,001 ancient Buddhist statues of Sanjusangendo, the main hall of Rengeoin temple here, have been reunited.

The life-size statues, called “Mokuzo Senju Kannon Ryuzo” (Wooden standing statues of Kannon deity with 1,000 arms) and designated by the government as important cultural properties, are shown to the public from Oct. 3 to Nov. 26.

The 45-year restoration work of those statues was completed last year. In March, the government’s Council for Cultural Affairs recommended that the 1,001 statues be collectively upgraded to a national treasure.

In celebration of the planned upgrade in the near future, five statues that had been loaned to national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara were returned to Sanjusangendo.

All the statues were last assembled together in 1992 when a Buddhist memorial service was held to mark the 800th anniversary of the death of retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who constructed Sanjusangendo.