kyou-e 経絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
1 Lit. paintings of sutra. A painting depicting the content of Buddhist sutra, however, is usually called *hensou 変相, kyouhen 経変, or *bukkyou setsuwa-zu 仏教説話図 rather than kyou-e. The handscrolls of The Sutra of Past and Present Cause and Effect, KAKOGENZAI INGAKYOU 過去現在因果経 (8c; Jouhonrendaiji 上品蓮台寺 etc.), has the text of the sutra written on the lower half of the scroll, and its illustration on the upper half, which can be called kyou-e.

2 An illustration on the flyleaf *mikaeshi 見返し of a sutra scroll depicting doctrines, anecdote or metaphorical stories contained in the sutra. The texts of sutras with illustrated flyleaves are often also richly decorated; gold and silver are used to write the text, and sometimes its margin is filled with stylized pictures. Sutras of this type are called decorated sutra, soushokukyou 装飾経, and probably originated in China but fully developed in Japan during the Heian and Kamakura periods. Aristocrats often had Buddhist sutras copied lest they should be born into worse lives. Examples include a set of 33 richly decorated Lotus Sutras HOKEKYOU 法華経 donated by the Heike clan, HEIKE NOUKYOU 平家納経, (1164; Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社, Hiroshima prefecture) and a set of 30 Lotus Sutras known as KUNOUJIKYOU 久能寺経 after the former owner (ca. 1141; now in the Mutou 武藤 collection, Hyougo prefecture).


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