About Ikuo Hirayama

About Ikuo Hirayama

Career

Transmission of Buddhism

In front of Horyuji Temple

Around 1959 when Ikuo Hirayama was serving as an assistant at the Tokyo University of the Arts, he manifested symptoms seemingly related to radiation. He had suffered from the atomic bomb and his white blood cells count decreased to less than half the normal number. He intermittently suffered from extreme anemia.
While Hirayama was confronting the fear of death, he went on a trip to do some sketching, bringing along students of his university. The trip was apparently like a forced march or mountain climbing through Mt. Hakkoda in Aomori. The fresh, shiny May green leaves may have reinvigorated the young painter, who once again felt his limits challenged.
One day after his return from the trip, reading a small article in a newspaper proved to be a turning point for Hirayama. The article suggested the carrying of the Olympic torch for the Tokyo Olympic Games via the Silk Road and that inspired an idea for his painting.
He imagined a priest who travelled in the desert along the Silk Road finally arriving at an oasis. The painting was entitled “Transmission of Buddhism,” showing an image of the Chinese priest Xuanzhuang Tripitaka Fashi in the Tang Period seeking the teachings of Buddhism. It was exhibited in the In-ten, and a ceramic plate of the “Transmission of Buddhism” is now exhibited in the lobby of the Hirayama Ikuo Museum of Art. This is how a small newspaper article led to the birth of an original painting.
This work, born from his desire to “create a single work in prayer for peace,” was introduced in an In-ten newspaper review by art critic Michiaki Kawakita, and two lines of the review greatly encouraged Hirayama in his youth.
“Transmission of Buddhism” (which is in the possession of the Saku Municipal Museum of Modern Art) became his monumental work. It was also the starting point of a series of paintings as part of the “the life of Buddha” and a series of “Silk Road” paintings.

Ikuo Hirayama’s “Transmission of Buddhism” was introduced as a work by a budding painter at the bottom of a newspaper article essentially introducing “Naruto,” a representative work of Togyu Okumura.

Jojiro Matsuyama (1884-1961)

In front of Horyuji Temple

In front of the wall of Kondo Hall of Horyuji Temple ,which was burned (1966)

reproducing the third wall of Horyuji Temple (1967)

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