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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 9(1); 2019 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2019;9(1): 7-9.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2019.9.1.7
Visiting Shuzenji Village, the Birthplace of a Masterpiece
Professor Emeritus, Korea University
Correspondence  YonHo SUH ,Email: kdramasyh@naver.com
Published online: 30 December 2019.
Copyright ©2019 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
On February 7, 2007, I visited Shuzenji Village, located in the northwest of Izu City in Shizuoka Prefecture. I decided to visit this town due to my desire to learn about the region where Kido Okamoto’s Shuzenji Monogatari(1909), which influenced Sedeok Ham’s Emile Bell, is set. In the village is the small and simple Shuzenji temple, which was originally built by Kobo-Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, in 807, and which was rebuilt by Zen Master Ryukei in 1489.
Shuzenji Monogatari is based on the historical event of the imprisonment in Shuzenji and murder of Yoriie Minamoto, the second shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, by his maternal relatives, the Hojo clan. This three-act play is about the relationship between three main characters: Shogun Yoriie, master mask carver Yashao, and Yashao’s eldest daughter Katsura, who dreams of attaining higher status. It is structured around Yoriie’s recollection of this event as “the uncle incident.” The first act of the play is set in Yashao’s studio, and the second act focuses on the beginning of the tragedy taking place around Katsuragawa. In the third act, we return to Yashao’s studio, at which point Kaete runs in yelling about an ongoing night raid.
While at Shuzenji Village, I visited the main settings of this play, including Katsuragawa’s riverside, the hot spring baths, the shogun’s tomb, and Jiwoljeon, and I wandered the alleys. On this tour of the village, I was moved by the efforts made by the people of Shuzenji Village to perfectly preserve the historical sites and the surrounding nature. It was a reminder to me that artists equipped with pure creativity are the true cultural font of humankind, regardless of their race.
Keywords: Shuzenji, Shuzenji Monogatari, Kido Okamoto, Ichikawa Sadanji, Yoriie Minamoto

キ―ワ―ド: 修善寺, 修禪寺物語, 岡本綺堂, 市川左團次, 源賴家
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