Photo/Illutration Kodo Onozawa, chief priest of Jukoin, sits against the backdrop of 16th-century painter Kano Eitoku’s national treasure “Birds and Flowers” in the main hall of the temple. (Kensaku Nishida)

KYOTO—Forty-six paintings by 16th-century artists Kano Eitoku and his father Shoei, all designated as national treasures, have returned to Jukoin temple here for the first time in five years.

The paintings drawn on sliding doors and wall panels are open to the public in the temple’s main hall through March 26.

They are usually entrusted to the care of the Kyoto National Museum while replicas are on display at Jukoin, a sub-temple of Daitokuji in Kita Ward.

“I had thought the replicas were also good, but the originals look completely different once they are put back in place,” chief priest Kodo Onozawa said. “I feel 400 years of history.”

The main parts of the paintings were created by Eitoku, the fourth-generation head of the Kano school of painting, in his early years. Shoei was the school’s third-generation head.

“Birds and Flowers” has temporarily replaced a replica previously installed at Jukoin temple. (Kensaku Nishida)

“Birds and Flowers,” a set of 16 paintings drawn on sliding doors in the central part of the main hall that features large plum and pine trees, is regarded as Eitoku’s representative work.

The paintings are back in their original setting for the first time since March 2017.

Jukoin, built in 1566 by warlord Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, is known as the family temple of Sen no Rikyu, a celebrated master of tea ceremony.

The temple, which is usually closed to the public, serves as the grave site for the successive heads of three major tea schools.

Spectators are encouraged to make reservations for guided tours.

Tickets cost 2,000 yen ($14.30) for adults and 1,000 yen for junior and senior high school students.

For inquiries, visit the Kyoto Shunju website at (