The three volumes of this collection of Buddhist tales each represent one of the three core elements of Buddhism: the Buddha, the teachings, and the clergy. The first volume narrates the Buddha's previous lives, known as the Jataka Tales; the second volume contains biographies and anecdotes about the virtues of Prince Shōtoku (574–622) and eighteen monks and laypeople; and the last section records commentaries and tales about Buddhist ceremonies. The volumes were edited by the influential poet and scholar Minamoto Tamenori in 984. They were presented to Sonshi, an imperial princess who had just become a nun, as a guide to her understanding and practice of Buddhism. Unfortunately, the illustrations that accompanied the tales have not survived.