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An untitled Edo period eshingyō The Heart Sutra in logograms, for illiterate people
The Heart Sutra in logograms, for illiterate people

An untitled Edo period eshingyō

US$3,000.00 ENQUIRE


[An untitled Edo period eshingyō]

[Zenpachi (original illustrations by)].

[Japan: publisher unidentified, ca. mid Edo period (18th century?)].

 

Eshingyō, also known as mekurashinkyō, mekurakyō, and hannya eshingyō, are woodblock-printed copies of the Heart Sutra (Hannya Shingyō) produced for illiterate people. The illustrations provide vocal cues to the 'reader' - each illustration represents a word or syllable of the Heart Sutra, and when the illustrations are 'read' together aloud in order the speaker can be heard to be reciting the Heart Sutra. The partially mnemonic illustrations for eshingyō are thought to have been produced by Zenpachi of Iwate Prefecture in the Genroku period (1688-1704). Among other pictorial sutras and useful literature Zenpachi produced in the Shōtoku era (1711-1716) for illiterate people was the similarly pictorial Mekura-goyomi ("calendar for illiterate people"), also known as the Nanbugoyomi ("Nanbu calendar") or egoyomi ("pictorial calendar"). The illustrations in these works cannot be described as moji-e; nevertheless, the artificial relationship between the characters (moji) and pictures (e) allows the pictures (which are typically unrelated to the meaning of the sutra) to be read as if they were characters. They may therefore be considered logograms, rebuses, or even hanji-e ("puzzle-pictures"). The sutras are an interesting example of rebuses being used practically rather than for amusement, although undoubtedly some people enjoyed them in this way. Editions with varying paginations are extant; this example contains a preliminary three-panel set of instructions and chants, 65 illustrations in 16 panels, three illustrations of religious figures in three panels, and a final two-panel set of chants.

 

One concertina-bound (orihon) volume, complete, on single leaves. Presumed original wrappers, worn and lightly stained. Occasional light stains, browning, and minor chips and tears internally. 15.2 x 7 cm when folded, approximately 15.2 x 161 cm when fully unfurled.


# 2023-3-6
An untitled Edo period eshingyō

Price: $3,000.00 (USD)

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CATEGORIES

Classic Illustrated Books Modern Art and Design Books Translations of Western Texts Japanese Literature Prints and Ephemera Western Books Photo Books Paintings & Scrolls Australia & New Zealand Others

REGIONS

Australia New Zealand Antarctica Japan Korea China Other

BY DATE

Edo Period [1603-1853] Bakumatsu Period [1853-1868] Meiji Period [1868-1912] Taishō Period [1912-1926] Shōwa Period [1926-1989]

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