Futokoro-suzuri Volume 5 Part 3 “Iai-mo-damasuni-tenashi” is a story exhibiting Saikaku’s ability at creative work, taking a motif seen in previous works as original subject and weaving in a fabricated narrative. In this story, Saikaku used the incident of an argument and sneak attack between machi-yakko Banzuiin-Chōbei and hatamoto-yakko Mizuno-Jūrōzaemon, depicting the circumstances of the crime of the otoko-date in Murotsu, and the settling of the incident by the actions of the victim’s sister. The cruel treatment of the corpse by the otoko-date of peeling off the skin of the face can be found to originate in strategy recorded in Taihei-ki. Saikaku included this in the work as a trick for plotting the perfect crime, and to give shape to the passion of the otoko-date. He then organized the incident of the unidentified corpse of unnatural death to incorporate elements originating from the theme of “Dōjō-sashū” in Tōin-hiji (Tangyin-bishi), and described the actions of the sister of the victim attacked unawares by the otoko-date. There, we can scrutinize the blind spots of public authority in the investigation of the incident of the corpse of unnatural death, and also observe Saikaku’s sharp viewpoint.
Since “Senjo-rikon (Qiannu-lihun)” was brought to Japan in Mumonkan (Wumenguan), it has been embraced and considered within Zen Buddhism. My investigation, however, reveals that the subject material for this work was adopted in a kange-bon of the Shin-shū line based on Gōrui-dai-innen-shū, and a kange-bon of the Jōdo-shū line based on Jōdo-shūyō-bentaishō.
I indicate that Hongan-jikidan-ryakushō by scholar priest Genyo-Zuiru of the Shirahata Sect, published in Shōhō 4 (1647), is one reason for the inclusion of “Senjo-rikon” in kange-bon. The “Senjo-rikon” included in this work has a completely different story to that hitherto known, and suggests the acceptance of an independent “Senjo-rikon” in the direct accounts of the Jōdo-shū line, and which was separate from that of Zen Buddhism.
The “Senjo-rikon” taken up in the direct accounts of the Jōdo-shū line was also adopted by Shin-shū. Due to thriving publishing at the beginning of the early modern era, commentary of different Buddhist sects remained intact when texts were refurbished, and appeared in kange-bon. This is an example of the hybridization, through the publishing culture, of particular characteristics of multiple sects in early modern Buddhist texts.