1. Saionji Kinhira
  2. Mototada and His Sons, and Kakuen
  3. Possible precursors to the Genki
  4. A "Mockup" of the Genki
  5. The Genki through the Centuries
  6. Wider Knowledge of the Genki
  7. Copies of the Genki
The Work

Kasuga Gongen genki is one of the rare Kamakura-period emakimono to be written and painted on silk. Consisting of twenty scrolls, with a twenty-first for the table of contents and preface, it opens with an introduction (1.1); presents ninety-three sections of text illustrated by the same number of paintings (1.2-20.1); and closes with a final summation (20.2). The table of contents lists fifty-six story titles, apart from the introduction and conclusion. This translation, on the other hand, divides the text into seventy-two numbered tales that celebrate the enduring potency of the Kasuga deity, his readiness to chastise those who displease him, and above all the zeal with which he protects those who trust in him. The criterion for this division into seventy-two has generally been to consider each discrete dream, oracle, or other act of communication by the deity as a separate item, except where narrative continuity in the original made it unreasonable to establish a break.

The preface to the Genki provides the basic information about the work. Takashina Takakane (fl. 1309-30), the head of the imperial office of painting (edokoro), did the paintings. The stories were compiled by the Kofukuji monk Kakuen (1277-1340), in consultation with two senior monks of the same temple: Jishin (1257-1325) and Hanken (1247-1339). The text was written out by "the Former Regent Mototada and his three sons." These personages were Takatsukasa Mototada (1247-1313); Fuyuhira (1275-1327); the Kofukuji monk Ryoshin (1277-1329); and Fuyumoto (1285-1309). The Genki was dedicated in Engyo 2.3 (1309) by "The Minister of the Left."