In medieval Japan (14th–16th centuries), it was customary for elite families to entrust their young sons to the care of renowned Buddhist priests from whom they received a premier education in Buddhist scriptures, poetry, music, and dance. When the boys reached adolescence, some underwent coming-of-age rites, others entered the priesthood, and several extended their education, becoming chigo, or Buddhist acolytes. Chigo served their masters as personal attendants and as sexual partners. During religious ceremonies—adorned in colorful robes, their faces made up and hair styled in long ponytails—they entertained local donors and pilgrims with music and dance. Stories of acolytes (chigo monogatari) from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries form the basis of the present volume, an original and detailed literary analysis of six tales coupled with a thorough examination of the sociopolitical, religious, and cultural matrices that produced these texts.
1. Japanese fiction ? 1185-1600 ? History and Criticism 2. Male Homosexuality in Literature 3. Buddhist Stories, Japanese ? History and Criticism 4. Buddhist Acolytes ? Japan ? History 5. Buddhist acolytes in Literature