Researchers uncover a Japanese temple’s ancient art secrets

Hidden in plain sight on columns covered by soot, researchers discovered ancient paintings showing eight Buddhist saints. The images were uncovered in 2019 using infrared cameras. Credit: Noriaki Ajima and Yukari Takama On temple columns blackened by soot, a group of researchers uncovered ancient paintings showing eight Buddhist saints possibly dating back to over 1,300 years ago.

The images were found at the main hall columns of Shiga Prefecture’s Saimyoji Temple, widely believed to be built during the Kamakura-era (1185–1333) and the first to be designated as a national treasure by Japan. The researchers unmasked the secrets the columns have […]


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