Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Dispatch from Sally Suzuki, Japanese Dancer

Sally Suzuki sends this:
Relating to your last post, here’s Haruo Shirane from his Traces of Dreams:

"Ishikawa Jun, a modern novelist and Edo scholar, regarded the popular folk tale of Otake, the lowly maid who turns out to be a contemporary incarnation of Danichi nyorai (Skt. Mahavairocana), the Buddha of great light, as an archetypal example of such haikai imagination. Ishikawa found the historical precedent for Otake in the Noh play Eguchi in which a prostitute from Eguchi turns out to be the Fugen Bodhisattva (Skt. Samantabhadra). Not only does the profane turn out to be sacred, but a Buddhist deity that had lost some of its power in the Tokugawa period takes on new life and meaning through a lowly, commoner form." (Shirane, 254-255)


Mohammad said...

Very nice, I like. My pops used to say, We make no difference between a whore and a wife except that a whore we have for five minutes and a wife for all our life. Ha!


Sally Suzuki said...

That's not really related, but OK.

Matt said...

I read that as "Sgt. Mahavairocana" at first and got a great mental image.

Seriously, I'm curious as to what specifically made Ishikawa finger this as an example of "haikai imagination" rather than "haikai execution" if the basic idea (i.e. imagining) dates back to noh and can also be seen in various folk traditions worldwide.

Also, this is not a play. We demand theater!

Ryan said...

If only there were a Sergeant Mahavairocana and a Sergeant Samantabhadra! Maybe we could start a comic series about these two.

I'm not sure what made Ishikawa finger this story specifically. Were there that many folk stories during the Edo period about saints turning into whores and vice-versa?

And I (I mean Sally Suzuki) am/is still in the process of writing the two-part play. It's taking longer than expected. I'd like to post it to Neojaponisme, too, if you and Mr. Marx don't mind. I'll send you a copy when I (I mean Sally Suzuki) finish(es).

Sally Yoshizawa said...


SSSally Struthersssss said...

Ronald Reagan was the Nyorai.
Or was that Nyarlathotep?

Ryan said...

Then into the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister.

Jarvis32 said...

Worst groundhog's day gift ever.

Anonymous said...

BTW Thx 4 the Aryan-Anime video, SSSally!

Sally Szukalski said...

Behold!! THE PROTONG, My swarthy Nyarlathotep

Your Mother said...

Ryan! What are these comments? I don't get it! I hope you're not hanging out with weirdos!