How A Story Changes During Recycling

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How a Story Changes During Recycling
Dôjôji in setsuwa, illustrated scroll and Noh play

9N135551 MaoYing

Devastated by a young monk who refused to have a relationship with and ran away from her, a woman turned into serpent, chased the monk into a temple and finally destroyed him even though he hid himself carefully under the big temple bell . This is the summary of the Dōjōji legend, a story which has been recycled many times through history. Being one of the most popular themes in Japanese arts and literature, it appeared in numerous versions and has been adapted to a wide variety of media. In this paper, I will look into three of them – Setsuwa, illustrated scroll and Noh play – and make some comparisons. I will try to demonstrate how
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On the other hand, the woman is depicted as evil, lustful, and furious when rejected. In her essay, Susan Blakeley Klein attributes this extremely negative view of women to one possible function of the setsuwa: a cautionary tale specifically addressed to monks and priests to persuade them to avoid women and exclude them from the realm of the spiritual .

The Dôjôji Engi Emaki
The Dōjōji Engi Emaki is an illustrated narrative scroll which was made in the Muromachi period based on the earlier versions of the Dôjôji story. It is now a national treasure in the possession of Dôjôji temple, Wakayama. This kind of illustrated scroll was often used in a medieval performance art called etoki 絵解き, in which a performer displays the scroll to his/her audience while explaining the illustrations and narrating the story. Even today, you can still enjoy a live performance given by monks in the Dôjôji temple, though the scroll they use is a variant of the Engi Emaki produced early in the twentieth century.

Although being based on the earlier setsuwa versions of the Dôjôji story, the Dôjôji Engi Emaki is more like an independent work. It consists of four major parts: illustrations that depict the story; Monogatari, the opening part that designates the time, places, actors and backgrounds; serifu, the lines of speech uttered by the characters themselves; etoki lines, the narrations given by the explainer. The verbal narration is
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