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Plotting the PrinceShotoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism$
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Kevin Gray Carr

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834630

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834630.001.0001

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The Birth of a Legend

The Birth of a Legend

Inscribing Shōtoku at Shitennō-ji and Hōryū-ji

(p.107) Chapter 4 The Birth of a Legend
Plotting the Prince

Kevin Gray Carr

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents a general account of the background of the Picture Hall images. It examines the tenth-century Shōtoku Taishi denryaku, as well as studies the eighth-century depiction of Shōtoku's life installed at Shitennō-ji that is known only through literary references. Documents describing the eleventh-century Hōryū-ji production demonstrate that the paintings were part of an intricate artistic program involving architecture and sculpture whose elements worked in concert to evoke Shōtoku as a sacred presence. The continuing prominence of the work at Hōryū-ji is clear when one traces the life of the Picture Hall images up through the present day, but their significance extends far beyond the Eastern Precinct of the temple.

Keywords:   Picture Hall, sacred presence, Shōtoku Taishi denryaku, Shitennō, Hōryū, Eastern Precinct

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