This series, with its comprehensive scope and visual material goes beyond the usual survey of Japanese religious sites. Temples, shrines, and their treasured objects that are important to the history of Japan are represented. Prominent historians and art historians undertook this major project to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of Kodansha, one of the leading publishers in Japan that specializes in culture. A collaborative effort, the series documents many artifacts usually hidden in treasury vaults. "Hihô" is a significant source of visual material on these religious sites, one of an unprecedented quality and thoroughness. Close attention is given to almost every aspect of the individual temples and their treasures, from well-known paintings and sculptures to small-scale ceremonial implements and written historical documents. Illustrations, both in color and in monochrome, provide fine reproductions of architecture in detail and from different viewpoints. Each volume includes essays exploring the historical and cultural background of each site. The authors provide descriptions of each reproduced image as well as a useful bibliography (in Japanese) on each temple.
Illustrated: vol. 8, p. 38, seated statue of Fudo Myo-o, Daigo-ji