Item ID: 9707 [Dewa] Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den [出羽]待定法師忍行念佛傳 [Biography of Taijō (of Dewa), Teacher of the Dharma, & His Practice of Forbearance and Chanting the Name of the Buddha]. GETSUSEN 月泉, or GESSEN.
[Dewa] Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den [出羽]待定法師忍行念佛傳 [Biography of Taijō (of Dewa), Teacher of the Dharma, & His Practice of Forbearance and Chanting the Name of the Buddha].
[Dewa] Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den [出羽]待定法師忍行念佛傳 [Biography of Taijō (of Dewa), Teacher of the Dharma, & His Practice of Forbearance and Chanting the Name of the Buddha].
[Dewa] Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den [出羽]待定法師忍行念佛傳 [Biography of Taijō (of Dewa), Teacher of the Dharma, & His Practice of Forbearance and Chanting the Name of the Buddha].

A Monk Who Gave Up His Body

[Dewa] Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den [出羽]待定法師忍行念佛傳 [Biography of Taijō (of Dewa), Teacher of the Dharma, & His Practice of Forbearance and Chanting the Name of the Buddha].

Five full-page woodcuts. 51; 58 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff wrappers, orig. block-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. [Japan]: [1737?]

An illustrated record of the truly gruesome sacrifices made by the Pure Land monk Taijō (1685-1731). He began studying Buddhism in 1715 and in 1719 decided to become a monk, leaving his wife and child as well as his elderly mother. Following the example of the master who initiated him to Buddhism, Taijō in 1720 severed his penis and took the tonsure. Among his other exploits, we note the writing of the name of Amitabha Buddha on 5000 sheets of paper and the burning of two fingers of his right hand in a ceremony. He continued with the other fingers. In 1731, in front of monks and laymen, Taijō sacrificed his body to send it to Buddhist sites. He gouged his eyes out, cut off his tongue, both ears, cheeks, lips, his twelve toes, and other parts of his mouth, abdomen, and legs, and placed the pieces on a table. They were then placed in boxes and sent out to 87 locations. Taijō died from his wounds.

The biography was written by Getsusen (1691-1760), who studied with the same master as Taijo. The book was collated by Hōshū 寶洲 (d. 1738).

The book has a Preface by Hōshū, dated 1734, and one by [Getsu]sen [月]泉, dated 1733. The colophon is dated 1734. Our book does not contain an imprint, but Biography of Taijo was first published by Kōshōdō 向松堂 in Kyoto in 1734. It was reprinted in that city in 1736 by Kōto shorin 皇都書林. The first edition contains two woodblock illustrations in its first volume: one of a mountain and one of Taijō reciting the Buddha’s name with burning candles on his fingerless hands and head. In the second volume, there is an illustration of Taijō climbing onto the roof to recite the Buddha’s name underneath the moon and one of him reciting it for seven days submerged in a river in winter. The Kōto shorin edition contains only the illustration of the mountain. There is also a printing from 1737, with an unclear relationship to the two aforementioned editions. Our book contains all four illustrations, gathered in the first volume, plus a fifth woodcut. It might be a later printing of the 1734 edition with the material somewhat rearranged.

Fine and fresh set.

References

Sekiguchi Shizuo 関口靜雄 and Miyamoto Hanae 宮本花恵. “Dewa Taijō hōshi ningyō nenbutsu den jō honkoku to kaitai” 『出羽待定法師忍行念仏伝上』翻刻と解題. Gakuen 学苑 852 (2011): 15-75.

Price: $1,350.00

Item ID: 9707