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Shunkan@rŠ°
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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1. A Shingon ^Œ¾ priest (1143-79), who was an anti-Taira •½ conspirator, and a tragic exile. The story of Shunkan (1143-79) appears in literature, drama, and art. An administrator of Hosshouji –@ŸŽ›, Shunkan was allied with the circle of retired Emperor Goshirakawa Œã”’‰Í (r.1155-58) who plotted against Taira no Kiyomori's •½´·(1118-81) rule at the Shishigatani Ž­‚ª’J villa in 1177. Shunkan, along with co-conspirators Fujiwara no Naritsune “¡Œ´¬Œo and Taira no Yasuyori •½N—Š was exiled to Kikaigashima ‹SŠE‚ª“‡, south of Kyuushuu ‹ãB. According to HEIKE MONOGATARI •½‰Æ•¨Œê (The Tale of The Heike), a year after banishment, an amnesty was declared and although Naritsune and Yasuyori were pardoned, Shunkan was forced to remain on the island. The Tale also tells of Ariou —L‰¤, Shunkan's young disciple, who traveled to the distant island after hearing that Shunkan would not be pardoned. Finding the old man in a ravaged and beggarly condition staggering along the beach, Ariou took Shunkan back to his tiny grass shack where the old man died. The dramatic moment when the imperial messenger arrives with pardons for Naritsune and Yasuyori and takes them from the island, leaving Shunkan alone, is the subject of the *nou ”\ play SHUNKAN. The story was considerably amended in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's ‹ß¼–卶‰q–å (1653-1724) joururi ò—Ú—ž "Heike Nyogo-no-Shima •½‰Æ—Œì“‡" of 1719, in which Shunkan receives a pardon but nobly decides to stay on the island so that Naritsune's islander wife can accompany him back to the capital. The envoy forbids this but Shunkan kills him and remains on the island. The Shunkan theme was further elaborated in the joururi "Hime Komatsu Nenohi no Asobi •P¬¼Žq“ú—V" of 1757 by Yoshida Kanko ‹g“cŠ¥Žq, also called "Horagatake no Shunkan “´‚ª›Ô‚̏rŠ°", best known for the episode known as "Shunkan Shima-monogatari rŠ°“‡•¨Œê." In this version, the morning after Shunkan was left alone, a secret messenger came to tell Shunkan that Taira no Shigemori •½d· (1138-79) forgave him and thus Shunkan secretly returned to the capital and lived in hiding at Horagatake under the name of Raigen —ˆŒ». Later he helped the imperial concubine Kogou no Tsubone ¬“Â‚Ì‹Ç escape from Kiyomori's oppression to bear a son. The various plays and *kabuki ‰Ì•‘Šê variants were illustrated in *ukiyo-e •‚¢ŠG actor prints *musha-e •ŽÒŠG by artists such as Katsukawa Shunsho Ÿìt‘ (1726-92), Utagawa Toyokuni ‰Ìì–L‘ (1769-1825), and Andou Hiroshige ˆÀ“¡Ld (1797-1858). Typically in illustrations of "Heike Nyogo-no-Shima," Shunkan is depicted as a wild beggar wandering on a rough beach, or killing the messenger. The long-haired Shunkan of "Horagatake no Shunkan," looks in a mirror held by the wife of the servant who has called him to help at the birth of Kogou's son.

2. Noh mask *noumen ”\–ʁ@made for the play SHUNKAN and representing a warrior of the Murakami Genji ‘ºãŒ¹Ž line who at age 37 was exiled by Taira no Kiyomori •½´· along with two others to the island of Kikaigashima ‹SŠE‚ª“‡. When a reprieve arrives, he is elated, only to fall into bitter despair when he realises that he alone is to remain on the island unpardoned. Sadly he watches his two companions sail back to the capital. Each of the five noh schools has its own rendition of the character, but all show a middle-aged man whose expression combines the desolation of exile, the hopes of expected pardon, and the despair of being forsaken. While the Kanze ŠÏ¢ version ( dated 1606 with an inscription reading 'Hie Gonnokami") has a sour negativism in the drooping eyes and mouth, the Houshou •ó¶@Shunkan mask bears a pained dignity with softened lines and broader features. The Kongou ‹à„ mask is more abstractly modeled with sharp corners.
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NOTES
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