The Journey

Legends of Jin'oji Temple (Jin'oji engi emaki)

  • 44
  • Japan
  • 14th century
  • Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
  • H. 13 5/8 x W. 22 in. (34.5 x 55.8 cm)
  • Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation

This painting is from the final section of a pair of fourteenth-century handscrolls that relate the legends of Jin'oji Temple. According to tradition, the Japanese mountain ascetic En no Gyoja traveled to Korea to ask the deity Hosho Gongen to come to Japan to protect the site of the future Jin'oji. Hosho Gongen agreed, and the temple was founded in 684. Jin'oji, located in the city of Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, is now a small temple that belongs to the Tendai school of Japanese Buddhism. This scene shows pilgrims purifying themselves in the river before entering the temple. On the riverbank, below two trees tied together by a shimenawa (sacred rope), a Shinto priest uses a gohei (ritual wooden staff with paper strips) to purify a Buddhist monk.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bruce Schwarz

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