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Museum Hours
Thurs: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
Cafe Hours
Fri-Mon: 10 AM—4:30 PM
Thurs: 1—7:30 PM
Location
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Region

South Asia

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Background Information

The Life of the Buddha

The Buddha—that is, the “Enlightened One”—lived nearly 2500 years ago in northern India. His followers have always seen his life as a shining example to all, but what “really happened” is now impossible to know for certain. Even the earliest stories of his life include miraculous events that may seem hard to take literally. Later versions are even more elaborate, and they differ from one another in many details.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Background Information

An Introduction to Islam

Islam is one of the world’s major religions. It shares with Judaism and Christianity a belief in a single god. The Arabic name for God is Allah. The word Islam means “surrender (to God).” The followers of Islam are called Muslims, which in Arabic means “one who surrenders to God.”

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Background Information

What is Asia?

“Asia” is a term invented by the Greeks and Romans, and developed by Western geographers to indicate the land mass east of the Ural Mountains and Ural River, together with offshore islands such as Japan and Java.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Background Information

How to Identify a Buddha

The earliest surviving representations of the Buddha date from hundreds of years after his death, so they are not portraits in the usual sense. Buddha images vary greatly from place to place and period to period, but they almost always show these conventional features . . .

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)