Kyoto Nishijin textiles originated in the 5th and 6th centuries and established their foundation in the 15th century, and are produced through more than 20 specialized processes.
This statue of Ashura is a national treasure that was created in the 8th century (Nara period) and is housed in Kofukuji Temple in Nara Prefecture. The statue, with its three faces and six arms, was created by Empress Koumyou in the year 734 to mourn the first anniversary of the death of her mother, Tachibana Michiyo. Since then, the statue has survived many calamities, including wars and great fires. This representative Japanese Buddhist statue, which has been carefully protected and handed down over 1,300 years, has been realistically woven with pure gold leaf and silk thread, using a special loom that is four to nine times more delicate than ordinary Nishijin brocade.