The Buddha in Yoshiwara: Religion and Visual Entertainment in Tokugawa Japan as Seen through Kibyōshi
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept East Asian Studies
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNANZAN INST RELIGION CULTURE
CitationThe Buddha in Yoshiwara: Religion and Visual Entertainment in Tokugawa Japan as Seen through Kibyōshi 2017, 44 (2) Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Rights© 2017 Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture
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AbstractThis article examines humorous portrayals of divinities in kibyoshi, a genre of satirical illustrated fiction that became popular in Edo in the late eighteenth century. Comical and irreverent appropriations of religious icons including kami, buddhas, and bodhisattvas constituted a common technique employed by kibyoshi artists to produce parodic effects. One of the most widely read genres in the latter part of the Tokugawa period, kibyoshi served as an important avenue through which people interacted with or "consumed" religious images in the early modern period. Although it is problematic to presume a direct historical link between kibyoshi and contemporary visual media such as manga and anime, the genre of kibyoshi represents a significant precedent in which religious icons served as key elements in popular entertainment. The article aims to historicize the relationship between religion and visual entertainment, which is a growing area of research in the study of religion in contemporary Japan.
VersionFinal published version