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Kozuka with the Dôjôji Temple Bell
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Kozuka with the Dôjôji Temple Bell

Description Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This design is a scene from the story of Dôjôji temple. The temple bell is shown at the center of the composition. At the right are two monks holding prayer beads and praying. A woman dances at the left, holding a mallet for striking the bell. The monks at Dôjôji used the bell to hide a traveling monk who was trying to escape a woman who was pursuing him. She thought he had promised to marry her and, in her anger at his rejection of her, transformed herself into a dragon. She coiled herself around the bell and killed the hidden monk by breathing fire on the bell. In the noh and kabuki plays about the story, a dancer, who is the spirit of the jealous woman, comes to the temple to celebrate the installation of a new bell. She dances under the bell and when it falls on her she is transformed into a dragon. The dancer is shown here as a fox. Foxes were commonly thought to take the form of a beautiful woman in order to cause mischief.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature]: On kozuka: 後藤光重; [Translation] Gotô Mitsushige (kao)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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1600-1631 (early Edo)
shibuichi, gold
(Arms & Armor)
Accession Number
3 7/8 in. (9.8 cm) (l.)
  • Japan, Kyoto (Place of Origin)
  • Japan, Tokyo (Edo) (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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