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Abe Seimei performing an exorcism, from Legend of the crying Fudo (Naki Fudo engi)
泣不動縁起絵巻断簡  晴明祈祷図
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: 1333-1392
Historical Period: Nanbokucho period (1333-1392)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink and colors on paper
Dimensions: H. 12 1/2 in x W. 25 1/8 in, H. 31.7 cm x W. 63.8 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B65D46
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 28

Description

Label: This fragment comes from a handscroll concerning the miraculous powers of the Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo. As the story opens, the monk Chiko falls ill. A fortune-teller named Abe Seimei predicts that Chiko will die unless a substitute can occupy his sickbed. Chiko‘s devoted disciple, Shoku volunteers. When he in turn gets sick, he prays to Fudo for help. Witnessing Shoku's suffering, Fudo cries red tears and comes to take his place.

The painting shows Abe Seimei performing an exorcism. Seated in black court robes, he chants from a scroll while a second man adds sticks to a ritual fire. Smoke curls past a long table on which other offerings are arranged. Demons and apparitions that include anthropomorphized vessels gather before the altar; these odd-looking figures are the source of Chiko‘s affliction. Paraphrased, the text on the right tells us “Seimei prays so that Shoku may take the place of Chiko.”

More Information

Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)
Label: This fragment comes from a handscroll concerning the miraculous powers of the Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo. As the story opens, the monk Chiko falls ill. A fortune-teller named Abe Seimei predicts that Chiko will die unless a substitute can occupy his sickbed. Chiko‘s devoted disciple, Shoku volunteers. When he in turn gets sick, he prays to Fudo for help. Witnessing Shoku's suffering, Fudo cries red tears and comes to take his place.

The painting shows Abe Seimei performing an exorcism. Seated in black court robes, he chants from a scroll while a second man adds sticks to a ritual fire. Smoke curls past a long table on which other offerings are arranged. Demons and apparitions that include anthropomorphized vessels gather before the altar; these odd-looking figures are the source of Chiko‘s affliction. Paraphrased, the text on the right tells us “Seimei prays so that Shoku may take the place of Chiko.”
Exhibition History: "Japanese Paintings from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. (Nikkei), Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya (3/2/1995-4/9/1995), Takashimaya Art Gallery, Tokyo (4/20/1995-5/9/1995), Takashimaya Grand Hall, Kyoto (6/30/1995-7/11/1995), Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama (8/2/1995-9/17/1995)