Illustrated Biography of Priest Ippen, Vol. 7

Hogen En’iKamakura period, dated 1299 (Shoan 1)

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo, Japan

This illustrated scroll is one of a twelve-volume series depicting the life of Priest Ippen (1239-89), who founded the Ji sect of Buddhism in the Kamakura period (1192-1333). During his lifetime, Ippen journeyed to various parts of the country, leading large groups of the people he met along the way in ceremonies of Buddhist chants and dance. Through this, and by distributing leaflets printed with prayers, he encouraged the rise of Buddhism among the general populace. This biographical series was completed on August 23, 1299, the tenth anniversary of Ippen’s death, based upon writings by Shokai, presumed to be Ippen’s younger brother or nephew, and featuring illustrations by painter Hogen En’i. Originally consisting of 12 volumes, the illustrations of four chapters and the text of one chapter from the seventh volume were detached while in the collection of Kankikoji Temple in Kyoto during the Edo period (1603-1868). In the following Meiji period, they came into the possession of art collector Hara Sankei (1868-1939), and were ultimately acquired by the museum after World War II. A characteristic of the illustrations is their meticulous and realistic painting styles. Replete with gestures toward the changing seasons, the landscapes and scenes which the wandering priest would have encountered during his travels are brought vividly to life in this work. When the work was being repaired in 2003-2004, it was discovered that the back of the piece had been carefully painted to match the pigment on the surface and present an especially rich effect.


  • Title: Illustrated Biography of Priest Ippen, Vol. 7
  • Creator: Hogen En’i
  • Date Created: Kamakura period, dated 1299 (Shoan 1)
  • Physical Dimensions: w8954 x h378 mm
  • Object Title: 一遍上人絵伝 巻第七
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 時宗(じしゅう)の開祖一遍の生涯を描いた絵巻。「一遍聖絵(ひじりえ)」とも呼ばれる。正安1年(1299)に一遍の高弟聖戒(しょうかい)が選述し、法眼円伊が描いた。13歳で出家した一遍は、諸国を遊行(ゆぎょう)して念仏布教の生涯を送り、時宗を確立した。 絵巻にはめずらしい絹本を用い、画面には一遍の行状とともに各地の情景が展開される。人物を小さく描き、背景の寺社や山水の描写に大きな比重を置くなど、名所絵のような性格をもっている。やまと絵本来の手法を基調としながら、山水の構図、樹木や岩石などの描法には宋画の影響も見られる作品。巻第七は、弘安7年(1284)、大津の関寺(せきでら)、京都の四条道場、市屋道場などを巡りながら、念仏を唱え、札を配って布教するようすが描かれる。 京都の歓喜光寺に伝来した全12巻の一部が江戸時代後期に流出し、巻第七は原三溪らの所蔵を経て、第2次大戦後、東京国立博物館に収蔵された。
  • Object Date: 鎌倉時代・正安元年(1299)
  • Medium(Japanese): 絹本着色
  • Artist Name: 法眼円伊筆
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100156
  • Medium: Color on silk

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