|KEY WORD :@ art history / paintings|
Shiqiao. Lit. stone Bridge. A bridge on Mt. Tiantai Vδ (Jp: Tendai) in eastern
Zhekiang ΄] Province, China. Mt. Tiantai had significance both as the temple headquarters
of the Tiantai (Jp: Tendai Vδ) sect in China and the abode of the semi-legendary
Tang dynasty Zen eccentrics *Bukan
L± and *Kanzan Jittoku
¦REΎ. Legends recount the supposedly enormous height of the bridge, comparing
it to a rainbow or turtle's back, and describe its ancient, slippery moss. The
span and nearby waterfall were associated, from the late Tang dynasty,
with Daoist influenced legends of the Sixteen or Five hundred arhats (*juuroku rakan \Z
Ώ or *gohyaku
Ώ). Earliest extant depictions
of the bridge occur in Southern Song rakan paintings including one hanging
scroll by Ningpo Jg painter Shuu Rijou όν treasured at Daitokuji εΏ, Kyoto,
and now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Ming and early Ching dynasties painters
continued to depict Shakkyou although later versions were often landscapes
without the inclusion of rakan figures. A few Edo paintings on the theme include
one by Soga Shouhaku \δεJ (1730-81) in the Burke collection, New York.
The stone bridge is also connected with the legend of a lioness who pushes her cubs off it, nurturing only those with the fortitude to climb back up the precipice. This story is embellished in Zeami's ’’ν (1364?-1443) *nou \ play SHAKKYOU Ξ΄ and in several *kabuki Μκ plays. A group of kabuki dance-pieces shosagoto μ, known as shakkyoumono Ξ΄¨, feature a courtesan who dressed as and possessed by the lion's spirit does a mad dance, swinging her long mane around, which appears in *ukiyo-e ’G prints.
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