The exhibition is curated by Prof. Takeo Oku, Cultural Property Specialist of the Bunkachō, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. It presents twenty-one seminal masterpieces of Japanese Buddhist sculpture, ranging from the Asuka period (7th-8th century) to the Kamakura period (1185-1333). None of them has ever been shown in Italy before. Traditionally considered as devotional images, the selected works are incredibly fragile and difficult to transport, and even in Japan are not easy to view as they are normally displayed in semi-darkness in temples, sanctuaries or protected in storage of the country’s great national museums. Buddhist Sculpture was introduced in Japan through Korea along with calligraphy and Buddhist teachings between the 6th and 7th centuries. From the 10th century onwards its development is original and different from its continental models, both in themes and in form. The art form reached its apex in the late Heian period (794-1185) while the Imperial court was in Kyoto.