Conference Abstracts for Encounters and Intersections in East Asian Religions: A Columbia University Graduate Student Conference in Kyoto (June 19th 2016)

Encounters and Intersections in East Asian Religions:
A Columbia University Graduate Student Conference in Kyoto

June 19th 2016

Conference Abstracts

* Japanese titles and abstracts follow English.
* 日本語による発表題目と要旨は英語に続く。

Giorgio Premoselli (Bukkyo University 佛教大学)

"The Representation of Taizan Fukun in the Ritual Texts “tojō”:
On the Case of the
Chōya Gunsai and Daiki"

Previous research has shown that Taizan Fukun was worshipped to cure and avoid diseases, obtain longevity, success or a better social position. Furthermore, recent research has pointed out that Taizan Fukun and other Onmyodo deities were understood as part of the Kenmitsu Bukkyo pantheon and were interpreted as manifestations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. However, I have argued that by interpreting Onmyodo as a complementary element of Buddhism, we fail to see its own individual cosmology. This paper will explore the ritual texts of the Taizan Fukun ritual dating back from the mid 11th and 12th centuries, as seen in the Chōya Gunsai and Daiki, while drawing a comparison with the Esoteric Buddhism rituals of “Sonshōhō” and “Enma Tenku”. As a result, I have discovered that while Taizan Fukun was worshipped from as early as the beginning of the 10th century, it was not until the mid 10th century that it became an Onmyodo deity through the assimilation of Esoteric Buddhism elements. Furthermore, I have concluded that, within its individual cosmology seen in the ritual texts, Taizan Fukun clearly was not interpreted as a Buddhist deity included in the Kenmitsu Bukkyo pantheon.



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Kwon Dong-Woo (Wonkwang University, currently affiliated with Bukkyo University 佛教大学)

"The Religious Identity of Modern Sectarian Shinto as Seen from the History of Mythological Exegesis:
A Consideration of the Mt. Fuji Cult"

Following the failure to establish Shinto as the state religion, the Meiji government divided Shinto into Shrine Shinto (Jinja Shinto) and Sectarian Shinto (Kyōha Shinto). Although the religiosity of Shrine Shinto was eliminated, it would come to reveal that religiosity in its function as the controlling national ideology. In contrast, Sectarian Shinto, while officially recognized by the state as a religion, was left to construct its identity in the incompatible space between Shinto and religion. It was in this modern context that Sectarian Shinto was categorized into “founded religion,” “mountain worship,” and “traditional Shinto,” a classification still valid today. In the post-war period in particular, almost all founded religions were studied as popular religion or as Shinto new religions, while the mountain worship type primarily became the object of folklore studies and Shugendō research.

Nearly all forms of Sectarian Shinto created religious organizations, doctrine, and ritual as they entered the modern period; in the realm of doctrine, they sought to construct a Shinto identity by interpreting myths in new ways. In the established classification structure, however, such Shinto identities formed of mythological exegesis have not been given due attention. This talk will examine the forms of mythological exegesis and production carried out by those types of Sectarian Shinto that have traditionally been categorized as “mountain worship” groups,  particularly those of the worship of Mt. Fuji, as these groups sought to form religious organizations in the modern period. By doing so, this talk reconsiders the ways in which Shinto identities seeking to become modern religions were constructed.  

神話解釈史から見る近代教派神道の宗教アイデンティティ -富士信仰系を中心に-



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Hoshi Yūya 星優也 (Bukkyo University 佛教大学)

"The Production and Transformation of jingi kōshiki
Dharma Assemblies (hōe), Buddhist Rites Before Kami (shinzen hōraku), and Kagura"

There is a type of document known as jingi kōshiki (liturgies to the kami). This title indicates that these documents take jingi (kami) as the honzon (primary object of worship) of Buddhist ritual program texts known as kōshiki. Written as a set of shikimon (ceremony texts) and gātha to be read aloud alongside ritual procedures, these liturgies are based in the structure of dharma assemblies (hōe) and seek to praise the kami, offering a glimpse into the ritual world where kami and buddhas are one. Of the jingi kōshiki, the oldest is a manuscript dating to the late Kamakura period. From Muromachi period on an enormous number of copies were produced and, quite astonishingly, these texts are still read today within rituals of Nikkō shugendō. In this presentation, I will examine jingi kōshiki dating from the late Muromachi to Edo periods in order to consider the transformation from dharma assembly procedural texts to kagura saimon (kagura ceremonial texts). Many late medieval jingi kōshiki manuscripts survive on Mt. Kōya, and until the Edo period it seems that jingi-kō (kami assemblies) were held. On the other hand, the Warring States period saw the creation of jingi kōshiki written completely in katakana which exhibit no distinction between shiki-shidai, shikimon, and gātha; from the shinsai shidai-sho (procedural texts for kami rites) of shugendō gathered together in the Edo period, we can witness the change to shōgyō (sacred writings) read as shinzen hōraku (pleasing the kami through Buddhist rites). Moreover, the spread of these jingi kōshiki did not cease: they were read in the rituals of dai-kagura and hana matsuri in the region of Oku-Mikawa and traveled far to the province of Satsuma (modern day Kagoshima prefecture), thus developing into kagura saimon. In this way the jingi kōshiki were transformed by the esoteric Buddhist monks, shugenja, and folk religion practitioners, continually produced as texts of dharma assemblies, kami ceremonies, and kagura. In closing, as a future topic, I will introduce texts that were created in the reception of the name “jingi kōshiki.

『神祇講式』の生成と変貌 ―法会・神前法楽・神楽―


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Ishigaki Akiko 石垣明貴杞 (Ryūkoku University 龍谷大学)

The Formation and Development of the Yaoxing sheshen jing:
Focusing on the Three Stages Teaching

The Yaoxing sheshen jing (Sutra on the Essentials of Discarding the Body), a Chinese apocryphal scripture discovered at Dunhuang, is an important text that reveals the sinification of the Indian idea of “discarding the body.”

The scripture explains that if, while still living, one vows to offer one’s divided corpse to creatures of the land and those of the waters, one can eliminate crimes accumulated through rebirths. In this way the scripture transforms the practice of giving to animals – understood in the Majjhima-Nikāya as having the least merit – into an important practice for becoming a buddha. Moreover, as this scripture displays a relationship with the Dafangguang jing, it testifies to the fact that there were connections between apocryphal scriptures.

Rising to popularity in the Tang, this scripture also exerted a major influence on Confucianism, a religion that abhors damage to the flesh. However, owing partly to the lack of extant sources, research that moves beyond the general outline of the scripture has yet to be carried out.

Focusing on the “Three Stages Teaching” (sangaikyō), this presentation will elucidate when and through what historical process the Yaoxing sheshen jing was compiled, while also seeking to clarify reponses to and movements in confrontation with apocryphal scriptures in Buddhist society. 


    そ こでは存命中に発心して二分割した死屍を陸上と水中の生き物に施与したならば、輪廻の間に蓄積した罪は除滅させることができると説かれ、 『Majjhima-Nikāya』で最も利益が少ないとされた動物への布施を仏になるための重要な修行にまで昇華させた。また『大方広経』とかかわりを 持つことから、偽経同士が関係性を有していたことを証明する資料でもある。



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Kevin Buckelew (Columbia University)

"Reconsidering the 'Rhetoric of Heroism': From the Lengyan jing to the Rise of Chan Buddhism in China"

In the Lengyan jing, an eighth-century apocryphal Chinese Buddhist scripture, Ānanda is enthralled by a magical spell and nearly breaks his vow of chastity. What was the cause of his near-failure? Singled out for criticism in the Lengyan jing is his capacity for “broad listening” (duowen 多 聞), the basis of his authoritative memorization of all the Buddha’s sermons. His “listening” is described as leading to hesitation, indefinitely postponing his attainment of the status of arhat and leaving him open to demonic attack. This essay explores the mechanics and stakes of this criticism, arguing that it heralds the rise of what Miriam Levering has called the “rhetoric of heroism,” a defining feature of the Chan (Zen) Buddhist tradition.



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Matsuyama Yūko 松山由布子 (Nagoya University 名古屋大学)

The Regional Development of the Gozu Tennō Cult –
Through the Examples of Tsushima Shrine in Owari Province and Oku-Mikawa

The religious practice of trying to escape the dangers of epidemics through the worship and pacification of the pestilence deity Gozu Tennō spread from the medieval period on throughout Japan through the cult of Gion and the epidemic deity rites of shugendō. Of the forms of Gozu Tennō worship that developed in various regions, this presentation will take up the examples of Tsushima Shrine in Owari province and the Oku-Mikawa region of Aichi province (one area within the cultic sphere of Tsushima Shrine) in particular in order to consider the historical development of Gozu Tennō worship in these regions and its characteristics.  

Details regarding the beginnings of Tsushima Shrine in Owari province are unclear, but in the 12th century it was a Grand Shrine (taisha) representing the region, and was supported by the organization of shrine households belonging to the same lineage, known as the “four families and seven factions” (shike shichitō), who had made connections with the power holders of the day. In addition to worship of its main deity, Gozu Tennō (Takehaya Susanoo-no-Mikoto), the Tsushima Shrine also includes the auxiliary temples (sessha) of Imorisha and Yagorōdensha, and carries out divine agricultural rites such as Haru-agata-sai and Aki-agata-sai, as well as the Kawamatsuri (River Festival, also known as Tennō-matsuri or Tsushima-matsuri) for the worship of pestilence deities that takes place around the 14th and 15th of the 6th month of the traditional calendar. In the early modern period, shrine households and assistants of shrine households took on the role of messengers who disseminated Tsushima Shrine worship in the wide regions of Kantō.  

One area within the cultic sphere of Tsushima Shrine, Oku-Mikawa of Aichi prefecture is a mountainous land located in the inmost recesses of the Mikawa region. This is an area that has passed down religious performing arts such as kagura (in the forms of daikagura and Hanamatsuri) and dengaku, as well as its own distinctive folk culture. The religious knowledge that is the foundation for Oku-Mikawa’s folk culture was transmitted by shugenja practitioners of shugendō that assimilated there and the Hanadayū, priests who manage the kagura rites; we know this from the many religious documents that survive in the families of the Hanadayū.

This presentation is a comparative examination of the religious documents produced in the medieval period at Tsushima Shrine and those concerning the Gozu Tennō cult that have been passed down in households of the Hanadayū in the Oku-Mikawa region. The documents that I would like to focus on in particular include the Gozu Tennō kōshiki of Tsushima Shrine and the Gozu Tennō shimawatari saimon and Gozu Tennō godanshiki of Oku-Mikawa. That connections between the Gozu Tennō cult of Tsushima and that of Oku-Mikawa can be found in religious documents has already been indicated by Yamamoto Hiroko (1998) and Takei Shōgu (1993). Drawing on this previous research, this presentation will conduct a detailed comparative analysis of saimon and kōshiki texts in order to clarifying the historical development of the Gozu Tennō cults of these regions and their characteristics. It will also suggest the possibility that those characteristics emerged through the connections between the ritual practices of shugenja and Hanadayū.

牛頭天王信仰の地域展開 ―尾張国津島社と奥三河の事例を通して―

行 疫神牛頭天王を祀り鎮めることで疫病の難を免れようとする信仰は、中世より祇園信仰や修験道の疫神祭などを通して日本全国に展開した。本発表は、各地に展 開する牛頭天王信仰の中でも、尾張国津島社と津島社の信仰圏の一つである愛知県奥三河地域のそれを取り上げ、この地域の牛頭天王信仰の展開の歴史やその特 徴について考察する。

尾 張国津島社は、成立の詳細は不明だが、12世紀には地域を代表する大社であり、津島衆と称される四家七党の同族社家組織が時の為政者と結びついてその活動 を支えた。津島社は主祭神として牛頭天王(建速須佐之男大神)を祀るほか、居森社・弥五郎殿社などの摂社があり、春県祭や秋県祭などの農耕神事と、旧暦六 月十四日・十五日を中心とする疫神祭祀の川祭り(天王祭・津島祭)が行われている。近世には社家や社家に仕える手代が御使となって関東の広範な地域に津島 社の信仰を広めた。

そ の津島社の信仰圏の一つである愛知県の奥三河地域は、三河地域最奥の山間地であり、神楽(大神楽・花祭り)や田楽などの民俗芸能や独自の民俗文化が伝えら れる地域である。奥三河の民俗文化の基盤となる宗教知識は、土着化した修験道の修行者や、神楽の神事役である花太夫によって持ち伝えられたことが、花太夫 の家に残された多くの宗教文献より知られる。

本 発表では、中世の津島社で成立した宗教文献と、奥三河の花太夫の家に伝えられた牛頭天王信仰に関わる宗教文献の内容を比較検討する。中心的に取り上げる文 献は、津島社の『牛頭天王講式』、奥三河の『牛頭天王嶋渡り祭文』『牛頭天王五段式』などである。津島社と奥三河地域の牛頭天王信仰の繋がりが宗教文献よ り見出されることは、山本ひろ子(『異神―中世日本の秘教的世界』、平凡社、1998年)や武井正弘(「花祭・大神楽についての若干の考察」『仏教芸能と 美術』、名著出版、1993年)によってすでに指摘されている。本発表では、こうした先行研究を元としながら祭文や講式の本文を詳細に比較検討し、文献よ り見出されるこの地域の牛頭天王信仰の展開の歴史や特徴を明らかにする。またそうした特徴が、土着化した修験道の修行者や花太夫の儀礼実践と関わりによっ て生じた可能性を提示する。

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Andrew Macomber (Columbia University)

"From Ten Paces to the Great Trichiliocosm:
Reading Aromatics in Japanese Buddhist Materia Medica"

 Since their introduction to Japan, aromatics such as agarwood, gum guggul, and sandalwood have played a crucial role in the performance of Buddhist rites, particularly those of esoteric Buddhism from the Heian period (794-1185) on. Recent scholarship has suggested that ritual adoption of these substances relates to their medicinal properties, but pharmacological interpretations fail to elucidate the discourses that would have shaped the ways aromatics were historically understood and experienced. As an alternative, this talk offers a preliminary reading of Buddhist materia medica texts compiled in the late Heian period, the Kōyōshō and Kōyakushō, attributed to Shingon monk Jōrenbō Ken’i (1072 - ?). Focusing on the textual integration of Buddhist scripture, classical Chinese materia medica, local historical legends, and commentary in particular, I argue that these texts account for the origins and production of aromatics while at the same time engendering perceptions about the miraculous work these substances perform, both in the air as “aromatic qi and in the body as healing agents. My talk illustrates that Buddhist materia medica texts endowed aromatics with meanings and efficacies that transcended not only narrowly-defined therapeutic attributes but also esoteric Buddhist ritual, the context through which they have long been understood.


日本に伝来して以来、沈香や安息香、白檀などの香は、仏教儀礼、とりわけ平安時代以降の密教修法を営む上で、欠かせない役割を果たしてきた。最近の研究では、修法に取り入られたのは香料に含まれる薬効成分と関連すると指摘されているが、このような薬物学的な解釈では、 歴史的文脈の中で香に関する認識と信仰がどのように形成されたかを解明することができないだろう。それに代わって本研究は、平安時代に真言僧の成蓮房兼意(1072 - ?) によって集成されたとされる、 『香要抄』と『香薬抄』という仏教系本草書を取り上げ検討する。中でも、仏教経典と中国の古典本草書からの引用、日本の歴史的伝承と撰者による注解を収録・統合していることに焦点を当て、この本草書が香の起源と製造方法を物語ながら、空気に充ちる「香気」として、また身体に充ちる治癒力として、その霊験あらたかな作用に関する認識を形成することを論じる。このように、仏教系本草書が香に与える意義と効能は、狭い視野での薬効や、密教修法のコンテクストをもはるかに超えることを明らかにしたい。

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Kaku Kanei 郭佳寧  (Nagoya University 名古屋大学)

On the Fudō Hall of Anrakuju’in in Rakunan-Toba

The Insei period initiated by Shirakawa’in marked a major transition period in Japan’s shift from the ancient to medieval eras. Together with the full-scale establishment of the political structure based on rule by retired emperors, the period also saw the emergence of martial powers represented by warriors in the capital, lords in the provinces, and dissolute monks, as well as intense changes implicating every facet of society, such as the development of the shōen estates system. On the Buddhist side of things, beginning with Rokushōji, temples were built one after another in the capital and its peripheries tasked with carrying out rituals for the peace of the imperial family and the protection of the nation. In the Toba region south of the capital of Kyoto, an imperial villa known as Toba-dono was constructed by retired emperors Shirakawa and Toba. Accompanying this was the construction of gravesite temples for these two retired emperors in the same region. These were Jōbodai’in for Shirakawa and Anrakuju’in for Toba. According to their own wishes, Shikawa and Toba were buried in stupas after their deaths. From the kuyō ganmon and kuyō hyōbyaku documents for the offering of the stupa at their gravesites, we can see the recognition that these stupas symbolized Dainichi Nyorai, the principal buddha of esoteric Buddhism, as well as connections with Pure Land thought of the time. Moreover, at Toba’in’s Anrakuju’in, beginning with the stupa itself, halls such as Amida Hall, Enma Hall, and Fudō were all built in order to cultivate merit for and pay offerings to this retired emperor.

In 1155, the year before Toba’in’s death, a Fudō Hall in ikken-shiken style was offered at Anrakuju’in. According to a record in the Heihanki, Fujiwara Tadazane built this Fudō Hall for the peace of Toba, and inside he installed an icon of Fudō facing north. The kuyō ganmon mentioned above reveals that the Fudō Myōō icon was placed in the Anrakuju’in Fudō Hall for Toba’in’s correct mindfulness at the time of his death and for his immediate rebirth in the Pure Land. That is, in addition to the protection of the realm, this icon was thought to assist in Toba’in’s successful rebirth. However, the efficacy of Fudō Myōō in the context of esoteric Buddhism is related to either worldly benefits such as prevention of calamities, safe birth, and pacifying the household, or to the attainment of “becoming a buddha in this very body” (sokushin jōbutsu), where the practitioner becomes one with Fudō by entering the “fire samādhi.” Looking at examples of the creation of Fudō icons and the rites of Fudō in the late Heian period, it is clear that those like the Fudō at Anrakuju’in – that is, those seeking correct mindfulness at death or immediate rebirth, the so-called “rebirth in the pure land” – are rare. In addition to being constructed for national protection, the Fudō Hall of Anrakuju’in was a place meant to assist Toba’in’s correct mindfulness and rebirth; in this way, the personal prayers of the retired emperor and hopes for the peacefulness of the nation became one.    

Where did this form of worship linking Fudō Myōō of Anrakuju’in to rebirth in pure land initially emerge? In what ways was the authority of the retired emperor (imperial powers) represented in the Anrakuju’in Fudō Hall? In this presentation, I will attempt to shed light on the significance of the esoteric Buddhist space that was the Anrakuju’in Fudō Hall – the gravesite temple for Toba’in, the function of Fudō Myōō – the primary object of worship for the hall, as well as the religious thought that formed the backdrop for these developments.


白 河院によって開かれた院政期は、日本にとって古代から中世へという時代の大きな転換点である。院政という政治形態の本格的な確立とともに、在京武士・在地 領主・悪僧に代表される「武力」の出現、荘園制の形成など社会各方面の変化が激しく起こっていた。一方、仏教側においては、六勝寺をはじめとして王家の安 泰や国家鎮護を修する寺院が相次いで京都とその周辺に建立された。京都洛南鳥羽の地には、白河・鳥羽両院によって鳥羽殿と呼ばれる離宮が造営された。鳥羽 離宮の造営とともに、白河・鳥羽両院の墓所寺院も洛南鳥羽に建立された。即ち、白河院の成菩提院と鳥羽院の安楽寿院である。そして、白河・鳥羽両院が自ら の意志によって死後に仏塔に葬られた。墓塔の供養願文と供養表白から、院が葬られた塔は、密教教主大日如来の象徴であると認識されたと同時に、当時の浄土 信仰にも繋がることがわかる。更に、鳥羽院の安楽寿院において、墓塔をはじめとして、院を追善・供養するための阿弥陀堂、炎魔天堂、不動堂などが整備され た。

久寿2年(1155)、鳥羽院御崩御の前の年に安楽寿 院において一間四面の不動堂が供養された。『兵範記』の記述によると、この不動堂は藤原忠実が鳥羽安鎮のために建てたもので、中の安置仏は北向きに配置さ れた。また供養願文によると、安楽寿院不動堂の本尊不動明王は、鳥羽院の臨終正念、順次往生のために安置されたものである。つまり、安楽寿院不動堂の建立 は鎮護国家のほか、鳥羽院の往生を助成することも期待された。ところが、密教における不動明王の法験は、息災・安産・鎭宅など現世利益と関わるもの、或い は火生三昧に入って不動明王と一体となる、所謂密教の即身成仏を達成するものである。平安後期における不動明王の造立と不動法を修する事例を見ると、安楽 寿院不動明王のような、臨終正念と順次決定、所謂浄土往生を目的とするものが稀である。また、安楽寿院不動堂は、国家鎮護を目的として建立されたと同時 に、鳥羽院の臨終正念と順次往生を助成する場でもあり、不動堂において院の個人的な祈願と国家安泰の願いが一体となった。

以 上に述べたように、安楽寿院不動堂における不動明王と浄土往生を結びつく信仰が、一体どこから発したのか。安楽寿院不動堂において院権力(王権)がどのよ うに表象されていたのか。本発表は、鳥羽院の墓所寺院である安楽寿院における不動堂という密教空間の意義、本尊である不動明王の役割、及びその背後にある 宗教思想を明らかにすることを試みたい。

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Abigail MacBain (Columbia University)

They Say He Came From India: the Eighth Century Brahman Bishop Bodhisena’s Use
Medieval Japanese Art, Literature, and Religion

    In the year 737, the Buddhist monk Bodhisena arrived in Japan, supposedly in search of the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī or for the purpose of propagating Buddhism. Until his death in 760, Bodhisena helped establish the Huayan School of Buddhism in Japan (known as Kegon), taught Sanskrit, and famously conducted the “eye-opening” ceremony on the giant Vairocana buddha (daibutsu) in Tōdaiji temple. Even more than these actions, though, it is his identity as a South Indian from a Brahmanic family that persisted in medieval setsuwa tales, historical chronicles, and paintings. Given the manner in which Bodhisena functions in these tales, particularly in relation to the traveling engineer monk Gyōki, this purported Indian origin produced a sense of authority and legitimacy not only to Bodhisena but also to individuals interacting with him. While a degree of “foreigner cachet” extended to other international monks as well, as the only individual of Indian origin in Japan at this time, Bodhisena was especially venerated since he provided a direct connection to the Buddhist homeland for a country that was both geographically and religiously peripheral.

    In this talk, I will examine Bodhisena’s journey to Japan, significant events during his lifetime, and his legacy in medieval texts such as the Konjaku Monogatari, Gyōki Bosatsuden, Nihon ōjō gokurakuki, and the Genkō shakusho. In particular, I will focus on his interaction with Gyōki in many of these tales and his use in identifying the Japanese monk’s hidden nature as Mañjuśrī. I will also look at Bodhisena’s depiction in medieval art, where, despite his many years in Japan, he is typically portrayed in characteristic Indian garb. In relation, I will explore what concept of India (Tenjiku) early and medieval Japanese held and the potential significance attached to Bodhisena’s common appellation of “Brahman bishop” (baramon sōjō).




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Eric Faure (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) of Paris)

"Supernatural Wives: The Swan Maidens of Yogo Lake"

Legends about “Animal-brides” who marry a man and give birth to children promised to a bright and glorious future can be found all over the world. One of the most common types of those legends deals with creatures called “Swan-maidens” in Europe and Tennyo (Heavenly maidens) in Japanese. Interestingly enough, European and Japanese legends about “Swan-maidens” don’t only share the same features, they also seem to have been told for the same purpose.


人間の姿を借りた動物を妻に娶る異類婚姻譚は日本のみならず、古代より近代に至るまで、世界中のあらゆる地域にて見受けられる伝説の形である。多くの場 合、その動物は白鳥であり、その化身は日本において天女と呼ばれる。日本の天女伝説の地として最も古い場所である余呉湖を中心に、ヨーロッパとアジアの伝 説の事例を挙げながら異類婚姻譚の生まれた背景について論じる。