Replica from Shosoin collection (Nara)
The origin of Todaiji Shosoin dates back to 756, when Empress Komyo dedicated over 600 items to the Great Buddha at Todaiji to express her love for her lost husband, Emperor Shomu. Her donation was made over five times across several years, then stored at Shosoin. Later in Heian-era, a large number of treasures, consisting of items and instruments used in important Buddhist services were transferred from a different warehouse in Todaiji. Given the importance of the items stored in this warehouse, the administration of Shosoin has been taken over by the government, currently the Imperial Household Agency.
The building is in the azekura log-cabin style, with a raised floor. Shosoin is the oldest surviving building of this type in Japan.
Shosoin today holds around 9000 items, leaving out items that are yet to be classified. While many of the collection are of remainders from the 8th century and are of domestic production, either art or documents, there are also variety of items originating from, needless to say China (Tang at the time), but even from as far as India, Iran, Greece, Rome and Egypt.
Although these collections are not open to the public, selections are shown at Nara National Museum once a year in fall.