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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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Paul Binnie, Maiden at Dojo Temple

Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967

The Maiden at Dojo Temple
(Musume Dojoji)

signed in sumi ink, Binnie, with red artist's seal Bin-ni and red date seal Heisei nananen (Heisei 7 [1995]) and numbered juhachi (18) of an edition estimated at 45 impressions, pencil-signed on the bottom margin, Paul Binnie

dai oban tate-e 16 3/8 by 11 3/8 in., 41.6 by 28.9 cm

The actor Bando Tamasaburo V (b. 1950) is in the role of the dancer Hanako, who is in reality the snake spirit of Kiyohime, from the play Musume Dojoji (The Maiden at Dojo Temple). After Kiyohime turned into a snake and melted the original bell at Dojo Temple, the priests were leery of installing a new one for fear that her spirit would return. However, they decided that a new bell would not pose a danger as long as all women were forbidden from the temple premises. As it happens, this policy was not enforced for long. Just when the bell was being put into place, the charming dancer Hanako appeared at the temple gate, asking permission to enter. Displaying a lapse in judgement, they allow her to enter. Hanako danced for the monks, all the while staring up at the bell, as enchanted by it as the monks were by her grace, unaware that she is moments away from reverting to her true form as a snake spirit.

References:
Arendie and Henk Herwig, Heroes of the Kabuki Stage, 2004, pp. 211-215 (re: play)
Paul Binnie: Dialogues with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 71, no. 29

$600