Jesse Drian: Multiple Identitied of the Itsukushima Deity in the Nagatobon Tale of the Heike

Multiple Identitied of the Itsukushima Deity in the Nagatobon Tale of the Heike 『長門本平家物語』における厳島大明神の多数のイメージ
Jesse Drian, Doctoral Candidate in East Asian Languages and Culture, USC

Itsukushima Shrine was the tutelary shrine of the Ise Taira, but the Nagatobon Heike monogatari is the only version of the Tale of Heike to include an account of the origins of the shrine. Despite the regional focus of the Nagatobon Heike monogatari on the areas around Kyushu and the Seto Inland Sea, I will suggest that the correlations made between the Itsukushima deity and other sacred sites and persons create a network of associations that emphasize Itsukushima’s importance beyond the local region. Building on earlier scholarship describing the physical networks connecting Itsukushima with the religious communities and ideas of Mt. Kōya, Mt. Hiei, and Kamakura, I will analyze the symbolic significance of the networks of associations in depicting an Itsukushima deity that had multiple identities. More specifically I will demonstrate that the networks and identities of the Itsukushima deity given in the Nagatobon Heike monogatari portray the deity as a protector of the realm, through both the deity’s identity as a military deity, as a protector of Buddhism, as by connecting Itsukushima with the religious practices of the central government.

厳島神社が伊勢平氏の氏神にも関わらず、『平家物語』の諸本 を見れば、『長門本平家物語』の「厳島次第事」しか厳島神社の縁起を詳しく物語らない。『長門本平家物語』は瀬戸内海や九州における地方的な特色があるが、この発表では、私は『長門本』に示唆されている厳島と他の霊場、神、聖人との関係が連想ネットワークを表現する。これまでの研究を一歩進めて、連想ネットワークによって提示された厳島大明神の多数のイメージを考察したい。特に注目したいことは、『長門本平家物語』が軍神と仏法を守る神だけでなく、幕府の宗教的政策と関係づけた神としても厳島大明神の鎮護国家の役割を強調することのである。