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En no Gyouja@–ðsŽÒ
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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Also known as En no Ozunu –ð¬Šp (also read En no Shoukaku) and En no Ubasoku –ð—D”kÇ.
A semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the 7c. Typically he is represented wearing a white hooded robe and a pair of clogs, which have one support instead of the usual two. He holds a staff and Buddhist prayer beads in his hands and is usually seated on a rock base accompanied by two demons oni ‹S.
En no Gyouja was known as a diviner at Mt. Katsuragi Š‹é on the border of Nara and Osaka. Mentioned in early Japanese texts, the NIHON RYOUIKI “ú–{—ìˆÙ‹L, and the SHOKUNIHONGI ‘±“ú–{‹I as having magical powers that enable him to cast spells, he is also said to have had two demon attendants who gathered water and firewood for him. In 699 he was accused of misleading the people and expelled to Izu ˆÉ“¤. Though his life story is riddled with folklore, he is idealized as the founder of shugendou CŒ±“¹, a syncretic religious order which combined elements of ancient pre-Buddhist worship of mountains sangaku shinkou ŽRŠxM‹Â with the doctrine and ritual of Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou –§‹³.
It is believed that he climbed and consecrated many mountains, making sanctuaries in such places as Kinbusen ‹à•õŽR and Oomine ‘å•ô in Nara. He was given the posthumous name of Shinben Daibosatu _•Ï‘å•ìŽF (Miraculous Great Bodhisattva).
Artwork depicting En no Gyouja dates from the Kamakura period or later and is often found in temples of the Shingon ^Œ¾ sect, strongly influenced by Oomine mountain asceticism.
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(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System.@No reproduction or republication without written permission.
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