|Budget Amount *help
¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,300,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥300,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
In fiscal year 2001, I closely examined the painting, Senchu yugen Kannon (designated a National Treasure), the Avalokitesvara who suddenly appears on the ship that was taking Kukai to China, from Ryuko-in Temple on Mount Koya. During this past fiscal year, I continued my research by gathering sources on and tracing the doctrinal background of this image. Although this figure has been thought to be Kannon, inscriptions on similar images from a painting at Ninna-ji Temple and an image in the Shoson zuzo, an illustrated scroll of various Buddhist images based on rank, from the MOA Museum, identifying this Buddhist deity as Issai nenju gyoji koto (the officiant of all the mantra-chanting rituals), indicate that this must have been the original name of the image. However, there has been no research explaining what these paintings were used for. Therefore, this past year, I examined the following.
1. The complete decipherment of the Sanskrit inscription on the Ninna-ji painting.
2. The placem
ent of Issai nenju gyoji koto vis-a-vis other deities in the MOA Shoson zuzo.
3. Comparing the order of images in the iconography section of Asabasho, a 128-fascicle work on esoteric doctrines and rituals, to Shoson zuzo.
First, the Sanskrit inscription on the Ninna-ji painting, letter for letter, is Issai nenju gyoji koto. Second, although this gyoji koto (officiant) has the features of a heavenly being, this figure is placed amongst the high-ranking Buddha images. Third, after comparing the placement of this figure in Shoson zuzo to its placement in Asabasho, it was found that the two were similarly positioned in both sources, and that there is a high likelihood that the image was used for the most secret esoteric ritual, Jisho joju gyoho, which can be performed at any time, in any place.
Finally, after investigating the Jisho joju gyoho ritual, I found that this practice was a secret esoteric ritual that was performed until the Edo period and that the central figure of the ritual was not represented in a sculpture or painting, but was the practitioner himself, while images played a supportive role. I believe that it is highly likely that the Senchu yugen Kannon was used in this capacity. Less