Photo/IllutrationThe five “myoo” deities on the wall of the central government-designated national treasure Kondo main hall at Ninnaji temple in Kyoto’s Ukyo Ward. The painting was unveiled for the first time to public on Oct. 13. (Kenta Sujino)

  • Photo/Illustraion

KYOTO--Murals of five deities hidden from public view for nearly four centuries at Ninnaji temple’s national treasure Kondo main hall went on public display here Oct. 13 in a special exhibition.

The temple in the city’s Ukyo Ward decided to unveil the works to celebrate the ascent of Taishu Segawa, 71, as head priest of the temple.

The colorful, detailed drawings depict the five so-called “myoo” deities, with the Acala, God of Fire, at the center flanked by two on each side. The piece was completed in the early Edo Period (1603-1867).

The work adorns the rear wall of the shumidan platform, where the temple’s principal deity, a Seated Amida Nyorai with Standing Flanking Attendants, is located.

According to the temple, the Kondo main hall was originally a key ceremonial building called Shisinden that was removed from the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and reconstructed at Ninnaji.

The former Shishinden was declared the temple’s Kondo in 1646.

Ninnaji, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the head temple of the Omuro branch of the Shingon sect.

The exhibition will run until Dec. 16. Admission is 800 yen ($7) for adults and free for high school students and younger children.