Paul Binnie Jinen the Lay Monk

Paul Binnie “Jinen the Lay Monk” artwork
Paul Binnie
Jinen the Lay Monk
Japanese title
Jinen Koji 自然居士
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Oil painting on canvas
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"A child actor in the Noh play Jinen Koji, The Honest Acolyte, oil on canvas, 1998/1999. Another of the Noh paintings made in my last year in Japan, this almost-lifesize portrait shows a child actor playing a nobleman, while we can only see the left foot of the acolyte of the title of the play. This is an accepted convention of the Noh stage: children are used where the social status of the character in fuedal society would otherwise require them to become the main character in the drama. By casting a child as a lord, the nobleman can be understood as dramatically secondary to the lower-ranking monk." Binnie, September 24, 2021
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