1. This study generally investigates Edo-period handscrolls from various regions of Japan which describe the origins of temples or shrines (a genre of handscrolls known as jisha engi emaki) for the purpose of understanding their art historical, historical, religious, and literary significance.
2. During the two fiscal years of 1996 and 1997, I examined Edo-period jisha engi emaki in collections scattered across Japan, as well as works in other painting formats, such as hanging scrolls and votive pictures (ema), in the Kanto region (with a focus on Tokyo), Northern Kyushu (with a focus on Fukuoka), the Kansai region (Kyoto, Shiga, and Nara), and the Chukyo region (Aichi and Mie Prefectures). At the same time, I exchanged information and ideas with museum curators, research librarians, educational committee members, and researchers in these regions.
3. The main jisha engi emaki handscrolls in this study, narrowed down to the group of core works in Tokyo collections listed below, were minutely examined.
Ota-inari jinja engi emaki, 1 handscroll, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Ota-inari Shrine
Umewaka-gongen engi emaki, 3 handscrolls, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Mokuboji Temple
Wakaichi-oji engi emaki, 3 handscrolls, Kita-ku, Tokyo, Paper Museum
Hiratsuka-myojin and Betto Jokanji engi emaki, 3 handscrolls, Kita-ku, Hiratsuka Shrine
Kayadera engi emaki, 1 handscroll, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Kayadera Temple
4. While carrying out this project's main objective to examine Edo-period jisha engi emaki, I also tested the use of a digital camera and computer to gather, sort, categorize, and analyze related imagery commonly appearing in preceding works of jisha engi emaki.
5. The aforementioned collection and recording of materials was for the purpose of a general investigation. There is still a need to clarify the special historical nature of Edo-period jisha engi emaki. I hope to publish a full-scale report on this, to the best of my ability, in the near future.