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A Long Tale for an Autumn Night (Aki no yo nagamonogatari)

Unidentified Artist , 14th century

Period:
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
Date:
ca. 1400
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Handscroll 1 from a set of 3; ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 12 1/4 in. × 32 ft. 7 1/4 in. (31.1 × 993.8 cm) Overall with mounting: 12 5/8 in. × 34 ft. 6 7/8 in. (32.1 × 1053.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Funds from various donors, by exchange, Fletcher Fund and Dodge Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.459.1
  • Description

    This handscroll from an illustrated set of three handscrolls (emaki) describes a love affair involving a young Buddhist novice (chigo) and an older monk, a type of story that became popular in the fourteenth century. It begins with the moment when the older monk, Keikai, from a temple on Mount Hiei, first glimpsed a handsome young acolyte named Umewaka, who lived at the nearby temple of Miidera. They met, exchanged letters, and finally spent the night together. On his way back to his temple, however, the boy was abducted by evil goblins. The monks of Miidera wrongly accused the monks of Mount Hiei as being responsible for his disappearance, and they retaliated by burning down the entire Miidera compound. The young man, blaming himself for the temple's destruction, drowned himself in Lake Biwa as penance. Keikai then dedicated the rest of his life to prayers for the boy's afterlife.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
65038:4

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