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Tale of the Fox dated 1669 (Kanbun 9) Unidentified artist Illustrated handscrolls (emakimono)

Tale of the Fox dated 1669 (Kanbun 9) Unidentified artist Illustrated handscrolls (emakimono)


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Tale of the Fox dated 1669 (Kanbun 9) Unidentified artist Illustrated handscrolls (emakimono)

Tale of the Fox dated 1669 (Kanbun 9) Unidentified artist Illustrated handscrolls (emakimono), with alternating sections of texts and illustrations, have been used through the ages in Japan to create biographies of the Buddha and famous monks, courtly literary tales such as The Tale of Genji, and popular folk tales (otogiz?shi, literally "companion tales"), often with a didactic motive, as is the case here. This illustrated handscroll presents The Tale of the Fox (Kitsune no S?shi), which relates the preposterous events surrounding a Buddhist monk being seduced by a beautiful woman, only to discover that she is the spirit of a mischievous fox. Even though the monk had supposedly taken vows of celibacy, he could not resist the temptation to indulge in carnal and sumptuary delights. Aimed at children of all ages, the moralizing motive of the tale is to admonish readers not to be tempted by worldly comforts to the detriment of an upright life.Unusually, a prefatory text section is absent here, though it seems that various recensions of the illustrated versions of this tale all follow this same precedent. After the opening scene, which lacks an accompanying text, subsequent sections begin with a text passage followed by an illustration.Opening section (no preceding text): A Buddhist monk receives a letter expressing amorous intentions from a mysterious lady, and she pays a visit. She is garbed in the robes of an aristocrat. Section 2:The woman invites the infatuated monk to pay her a visit, and the monk is conveyed to her mansion in a splendid ox cart, escorted by a trio of servants.Section 3: Befitting a lady of rank, her mansion is luxuriously appointed, with deluxe furniture and an array of musical instruments.There are numerous male and female attendants, all of whom seem to enjoy indulging in feasting and drinking. The monk, who is seduced by the splendor of such surroundings, succumbs to the temptation to enjoy a decadent lifestyle. Section 4 (text but no accompan

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