Archive of two discussions on the PMJS mailing list (October, 1999)

Question raised by Morgan Pitelka
Discussants: Richard Bowring, Michael Watson

followed by GUNKIMONO - Mōko shūrai ekotoba 蒙古襲来絵詞
Question raised by Ivo Smits
Discussants: Alexander R. Bay, Melanie Trede, Michael Watson, Tom Conlan, Anthony Bryant, Robert E. Morrell

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From Morgan Pitelka (1999.10.21)

Would anyone be willing to provide information on the tale of "Shunkan," named for the Heian period monk associated with Goshirakawa who was abandoned on Kikaigashima in the course of the incident known as the "Shishigatani conspiracy."? The incident is described in the Heike Monogatari, was dramatized in at least one Noh play (titled "Shunkan" or "Kikaigashima"), as well as in the Chikamatsu play "Heike nyogo no shima," and was illustrated in the 1808 yomihon "Shunkan Souzu shima monogatari." I have a sense of the basic narrative, but I'm interested in other appearances of the tale in any media, and any studies people may be able to recommend in Japanese or English.

Notes (ed):
Kikaigashima= 鬼界島
Heike nyogo no shima= 平家女護島
Shunkan Sōzu shima monogatari= 俊寛僧都島物語

From: Michael Watson
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 18:43:48 +0900
Subject: Re: Shunkan

The first book I also turn to for questions like this is Heike monogatari kenkyu jiten (ed. ICHIKO Teiji, Meiji shoin). I assume you've already read the entries for SHUNKAN, character and SHUNKAN, noh play. One place you might not expect to look is under HEIKE... p. 520ff. You'll find long entries on Heike's influence on drama, kinsei shosetsu, and kindai bungaku. A mine of information for those looking to check into the long reception history of the Heike.

From Richard Bowring
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 11:27:16 +0100
Subject: Re: Shunkan

If you are ever in Cambridge (UK, that is) come to the University Library. We have a superb bronze donated in the early part of this century which depicts Shunkan stretching out to sea, desperately crying to be taken off. Is this part of the Heike still taught at school in Japan? Certainly most middle aged Japanese know the story well and it would seem to be the image that first comes to mind when thinking of exile and a cruel fate.

From: Michael Watson
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 15:18:01 +0900
Subject: Shunkan & gunki

The most detailed bibliography for gunki is in the journal "Gunki to katarimono" ISSN 0288-5182 (of the association Gunki to katarimono kenkyukai--I seem to be the only non-Japanese member). There are annual review articles on Heike and other fields of gunki biblio, together with comprehensive lists of papers published. From a library with access to the commercial NICHIGAI biblio. database, one can also search online for words in titles of journal articles.

Further to Shunkan (with details to Morgan off-list). Shunkan does NOT seem to be a popular subject in screen or fan pictures, genre which do not illustrate the whole tale but rather selected episodes. None of the episodes involving him are included among the Berlin fans. Melanie Trede may be able to confirm whether the elusive Nezu fans (seldom reproduced or shown) include Shunkan. Nor, to my knowledge, was Shunkan a popular subject among Maeda Seison or other modern painters--not like Atsumori or Yoshitsune or "Ujigawa senjin" etc.

One exception I do know: an early-Edo screen, apparently in private hands, reproduced in the exhibition catalogue Heike monogatari bi e no tabi (NKK, 1992), figure 9. Of the seventeen scenes from the entire work, no less than three show Shunkan: at Shishi-no-tani, kneeling on the beach with arms outstretched to the departing boat (Ashizuri), and recognized by Ario.

Complete illustrated versions of the tale do, of course, represent the scenes where he appears. These versions are: the emaki, five separate nara-ehon, and five printed editions (hanpon), all from the seventeenth century.

The mid-17C emaki is the most detailed. "Ashizuri" shows Shunkan both sitting on the beach, weeping, and on a hill, arms raised high (Heike monogatari emaki, ed. Komatsu Shigemi, Chuo koronsha, vol. 3). The text does describe him climbing a hill to look out at the ship but the later popular imagery of Shunkan on rock, arms stretched *forward* probably derives from the final moment of the Kabuki play --if memory serves me right this is how he is depicted in the Cambridge UL sculpture mentioned by Richard Bowring. (And in answer to his question, Shunkan is not much known among the Japanese students I teach. "Kiso no saigo" seems to be the text of choice in high-school textbooks.)

The Ashizuri scene is illustrated in four of the five sashie editions (1656, 1672, 1698, 1699--the 1677 edition shows the "Ario" meeting instead, the picture reproduced by McCullough). Shunkan is not "drumming" his foot here either, but sitting on the beach, either bent over, crying, or with one arm raised to call back the ship.

The iconography of "Shunkan on beach" is very similar in the nara-ehon tradition. As Morgan is at Princeton, he will presumably know the magnificent nara-ehon Heike there and article introducing it by Martin Collcutt: "An Illustrated Edition of the Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari) in the Gest Library Rare Books Collections." The Gest Library Journal IV.1 (1991): 9-26.

I'm very grateful to Peter Kornicki for drawing my attention to this article when it came out. After going to see the work and having slides made of the illustrations, I have finally published some of my findings in Japanese, comparing the Princeton version with known nara-ehon of Heike in Japan (I had to leave out information about one in private hands, though I was able to examine photos).

"Heike Monogatari no kaigaka: purinsuton daigaku-zoo ehon no chuushin ni" in Yamashita Hiroaki, ed., Heike Monogatari: Hihyo to Bunkashi, vol. 7 of series Gunki Bungaku Kenkyu Sosho (Tokyo: Kyuko Shoin, 1998): 277-298. ワトソン・マイケル「『平家物語』の絵画化—プリンストン大学蔵『平家物語』絵本を中心に—」(山下宏明編 『平家物語—批評と文化史』、軍記文学研究叢書巻七、汲古書院、1998年、277-298頁)

From: Ivo Smits
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 99 10:08:00 +0200
Subject: Gunkimono

Internet doesn't have as many rules as renga, but I am not sure if it is "done" to mix messages from different list servers. Nevertheless, a message was posted on the J-LIT server that may interest some of us as who are not (yet) subscribing to J-LIT.

Anthony J. Bryant posted the query below:

> ... on the subject of Japanese literature, does anyone know of any recent scholarship on gunkimono? I'm looking for material that could be useful i an analysis of the Mouko Shuurai Ekotoba, which, although not a gunkimono per se, may have some elements of one.

Bryant's e-mail address is: [...]
Or, if we want to go list crashing, answer to JLIT-L: JLIT-L@VM.CC.PURDUE.EDU
Of course, post the answer on *pjms* as well, please.

Ivo Smits

From: Alexander R. Bay
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 08:45:25 -0700
Subject: Re: Gunkimono

Concerning Moko Shirai Ekotoba, Tom Conlan has a translation coming out soon from Cornell, I believe. But until then see if there is anything good in Nihon no emaki series 13, "Moko shurai ekotoba" Komatsu Shigemi, ed., Tokyo: Chou koronsha, 1990; and "Moko shurai ekotoba no shajitsusei" Miyamoto Joichi, in "Nihon emaki taisei geppo 20, Sept. 1978

From: Melanie Trede
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 12:31:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Gunkimono

In terms of the visual aspect of the Moko shurai you might wish to consult the exhibition catalogue of the Sannomaru Shozokan (Tokyo): Emaki, Moko shurai ekotoba, Eshi zoshi, Kitano tenjin engi, 1994. The curator, Matsumoto Aya wrote a brief essay including data of the respective emaki at the end of the volume.

From: Michael Watson
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 15:18:01 +0900
Subject: Shunkan & gunki

The most detailed bibliography for gunki is in the journal "Gunki to katarimono" ISSN 0288-5182(of the association Gunki to katarimono kenkyukai--I seem to be the only non-Japanese member). There are annual
review articles on Heike and other fields of gunki biblio, together with comprehensive lists of papers published. From a library with access to the commercial NICHIGAI biblio. database, one can also search online for words in titles of journal articles.

Message from Anthony Bryant quoted below has gone missing here.

From: Michael Watson"
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 15:22:34 +0900
Subject: Mooko shuurai text

>Thanks. I have a facsimile print of the entire scroll(s). I also have the entire text, typed into my computer after many laborious hours...Since Prof. Conlan's beat me to a translation <g> I can maybe do some good with the Japanese e-text and put it up on a website somewhere to make it accessible....


I'd be happy to offer you space on my website, with your notes/commentary and links from the PMJS page. Text or HTML format by email to me, whenever you are ready!

You can also publicize this e-text via main Japanese mailing list for electronic texts--

I love the Mooko shuurai and always wanted to learn more about the text.

Michael Watson

From: Janine Beichman
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 08:27:49 +0900
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text


Michael's saying he "loves" the Mooka Shuurai makes me want to know more. Anyone willing to give a brief description of this text and perhaps some hint as to what its kanji are? I don't find it under that 'spelling' in my 1-vol. bungaku jiten.

From: Michael Watson
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 18:18:08 +0900
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai

Mooko shuurai is "Mongol Invasion." Ekotoba is of course 絵詞.

You'll find a facsimile of pictures and text with transcription and commentary in vol. 13 of _Nihon no emaki_, ed. Komatsu Shigemi (Chuo
Koronsha). The fierce looking Mongols are a delight to look at, though no doubt some would have us see them as an example of "the Other"!

From: Tom Conlan
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 13:47:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

Hello Tony,
Glad to hear of your interest in the Mooko shuurai ekotoba. Let me introduce myself. My name is Tom Conlan and I specialize in premodern Japanese history, and am teaching at Bowdoin College. I had no idea that anyone else was working on this project. I am just now sending my translation of the scrolls, to Cornell for publication. I was just curious regarding the format that you intended to put this on the web.

Tom Conlan

From: Anthony J. Bryant
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 11:51:04 -0600
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

In response to Janine Beichman

It was written by Takezaki Suenaga -- or rather, at his instruction -- and is an account of his deeds during the Mongol invasions of 1274 and 1281. For his deeds in the first, he felt he wasn't properly rewarded for his deeds, so he sold his horse and went all the way to Kyoto himself (family said he was nuts) to insist on his proper due. He received an audience with the shogun's minister of ceremony (Adachi Yasumori), who pleaded his cause. He was personally invested by the shogun (the only one awarded so invested, I believe) with a new horse (!) and some other goodies. He went home and wrote this treatise for future generations to know of his deeds, and to assure that his family would remember that they owed their fortunes to the noble shogun, whom they should always serve as loyally as had he.

Michael Watson wrote:
> I'd be happy to offer you space on my website, with your notes/commentary

I appreciate that.

When I get the thing finished (since it's currently a labor of love rather than for something specifically academic, it keeps getting put on the back burner when other projects -- like those that make money or get graded -- get brought forward again) I'll take you up on that. I'm trying to fill in as many of the lacunae as I can. The frustration with this is that it's a unique document, and to my knowledge wasn't copied or distributed like texts of Heike, Genji, or the various poetry anthologies. When a chunk of the text is gone, it's gone -- totally irreplaceable. There are a few places where it's gone.

I keep letting myself get sidetracked in the fine-tuning, ways to indicate "missing characters" and "missing characters supplied by me" and "original text" and so on... All this, of course, keeps me from working on the


From: Anthony J. Bryant
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 13:42:52 -0600
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

Professor Conan!

Prof. Toby from Illinois was here in Bloomingon last week to give a talk on Japanese maps and the perception of "what *is* Japan?" When he asked us grads what we were interested on, he mentioned your project after I said I was toying with (I've since downgraded it from "working on" <g>) a translation of the text of the MSEK. I was crushed, but hey, that's life.

I've got the text entered into the computer so I figured on just loading it up as straight e-text. If you don't have a copy, I'll be glad to send it to you. It's in a Nisus document, but I've also got it in Claris Works.


From: Tom Conlan
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 19:32:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

Hi Tony,
Thanks for your message. It is good hearing from you. I guess that I should have announced my project more widely. Still, there are many texts to translate. Lets keep in touch, as the field is small enough.
If you could send me a Japanese text of the scrolls, I would be most appreciative. Many thanks.

Best wishes,
Tom Conlan

From: Robert E. Morrell
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 18:01:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

want to thank Tony, Michael, Janine, et al., for discussing the _Mooko shuurai_ text at some length. One never knows when some fascinating bit of information will drop into one's lap.

My wife and I are at the last stages of a ms for a book on Kamakura's Tookeiji (Enkiridera) -- which has been off-and-on for what seems an eternity (the filling-out of an article on _JJRS_ 10, Nos. 2-3 [1983!]), and every time we turn around something new pops up.

Anyhow, FWIMBW, as far as we can tell, Tony's Adachi Yasumori [1231-1283] is almost certainly the brother of the foundress of the Tookeiji, Houjou Tokimune's wife, Kakusan Shidou (Horiuchi Tono, 1252-1305). Yasumori was also father of of the nun Mujaku-ni (1252-1305) [see B. Ruch], Hojou Sadatoki (1271-1263), whose massacre of many of the Adachi clan, by her son Sadatoki -- including Kakusan's (Adachi) brother (Yasumori) in the _Shimotsuki soodoo_ of 1285 may well have inspired the aspiration for "asylum," sanctuary. [Tokimune was the Houjoou regent at the time of (at least) the final Mongol invasion of 1281}.

You never know when something will work for you. If it doesn't, there is always "DELETE".

Robert Morrell

From: Tom Conlan
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 19:29:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

Hi Robert,

Actually, according to Hojo genealogies found in the sonpi bunmyaku, Adachi Yasumori was the FATHER of Tokimune's wife, and, therefore, grandfather to Sadatoki.

Tom Conlan

From: Robert E. Morrell
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 20:06:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Mooko shuurai text

Hi Tom,

You may be right. I always (sincerely) appreciate comments/corrections/suggestions from readers BEFORE going into print for all eternity. I based my reply on work at least two years old -- so let me check again and get back to you. I do vaguely recall a question as to whether someone or another was father or brother. We do check the _Sonpi bumyaku_, but I think there was a problem. . . Also, we are for the oment
convinced that Sadatoki (1271-1311), Tokimune's successor, was the son of Tokumine and Kakusan Shidou. We figure that Kakusan's and Yasumori's father was Adachi Yoshikage (1212-1253).

Thanks. Give us some time to re-check.


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