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This talk reinterprets the Shingon hasso gyōjōzu (Deeds of the Shingon Eight Patriarchs) as a visual metaphor in which images of the deeds of the Shingon patriarchs are simultaneously mapped onto celebrated episodes from Xuanzang’s historic journey to India. An analysis of the installation of the Gyōjōzu paintings in the Shingondō further reveals that the Daijō-in supervised the production of the paintings as a pivotal means of demonstrating the legitimacy of practicing Esoteric Buddhism side by side with Hossō Buddhism at its branch temple, Eikyūji. Based on this evidence, my talk also suggests that the Gyōjōzu was painted by Fujiwara Munehiro, the court painter renowned for his production of the Mikkyō ryōbu daikyō kantokuzu (Divinely Inspired Reception of the Two Great Esoteric Sutras), which also originally belonged to the Shingondō and which are now in the collection of the Fujita Art Museum.     

This talk is part of the APSI Speaker Series.

Ryuichi Abe talk2
DATE:  February 21, 2014
LOCATION:  Perkins 218, Duke
TIME:  1:00-2:30pm

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