Ito Koryu- Priest Dentatsu

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

Eastern Flowers of Rough Stories from the Floating World: Ito Koryu; Priest Dentatsu
(Azuma no nishiki ukiyo kodan: Ito Koryu; Priest Dentatsu )

signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi hitsu, with artist's seal Kiri, publisher's seal Kinkyu (Omiya Kyujiro of Kiyudo), and combined censor and date seal Tatsu-ichi, aratame (year of the dragon [1868], 1st lunar month, examined)

oban tate-e 14 1/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.8 by 24 cm

The character is identified as So Dentatsu (Priest Dentatsu) from a story credited to Ito Koryu. The priest Dentatsu makes an appearance in De Benneville's compilation of folk tales, Tales of the Tokugawa II: Bakemono yashiki (The Haunted House) in chapters 19 and 20, titled A Matter of Pedestrianism and The Affair of Kishuke. In the story, the priest is followed on a journey along the Tokaido road from the San'en-zan Zojo-ji Temple in Shiba village to deliver collections to its parent temple, the Chion-in in Kyoto. The priest eventually wearies of looking over his shoulder and insists that his somewhat diminutive pursuer, Jinbei, join in pace rather than shadow his progress. Along the route, the priest is never quite sure if he can trust his companion, who seems to be somewhat of a shape-shifter capable of unexplained talents and tremendous strength. When the pair takes a room at an inn in Yoshida, they are woken in the middle of the night due to a great fire consuming the village. Jinbei leads Dentatsu to safety, and the look back to see the conflagration "of glittering flying sparks like the gold dashes on aventurine lacquer ware."

De Benneville 1921, chapters 19-20
Keyes 1983, p. 371, no. 202.16
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, p. 105, no. 20.16



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site last updated
May 6, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475