Doujouji 道成寺
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A temple of the Tendai 天台 sect in Hidaka 日高, Wakayama prefecture. The setting of a dramatic old Japanese tale first recorded in the HONCHOU HOKEKYOU REIKENKI 本朝法華経霊験記 of 1040, which centers on a handsome monk loved by a passionate woman, in later versions called Anchin 安珍 and Kiyohime 清姫. While on a pilgrimage to Kumano 熊野 Shrines, Anchin stops at an inn where Kiyohime falls in love with him. Bound by his vows, he repels her advances by promising to return, but evades her by taking a different road home. Realizing she has been spurned, Kiyohime's love turns to such a burning hatred that she becomes a giant snake and sets off in pursuit of the fleeing priest. Anchin hides in the lowered temple bell at Doujouji, but the serpent, sensing his presence, coils around it and with the burning heat of her body incinerates him. There is an illustrated handscroll of the tale (before 1573; preserved at the temple) and corresponding later handscrolls which exemplify Muromachi period stylistic developments in religious handscroll paintings and their use in preaching. *Etoki 絵解, *nou 能 and *kabuki 歌舞伎 versions focus on a shirabyoushi 白拍子 dancer (the jealous ghost of Kiyohime) who many years later returns to the temple and attempts to destroy a newly dedicated bell. The famous 'mad' dance ranbyoushi 乱拍子 of the play is illustrated in numerous *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints, usually showing a beautiful woman beneath a temple bell.


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