- 大阪体育大学紀要 (ISSN:02891190)
- vol.37, pp.17-32, 2006-03
The Spider-web, the 4th story of Paul Carus' Karma, is the work that Ryunosuke Akutagawa (芥川龍之介) adapted for his Kumonoito (蜘蛛の糸). The idea of "Salvation In The Hell" as described in the 47^<th> chapter of Zeng-Yi-A-Han-Jing (増-阿含経) is not implemented there, which makes it most improbable that this famous children tale is based on the ancient Buddhist narrative pattern. Publishing Karma in Japan was accompanied by using crepe papers and adding numerous illustrations, couple of which, Carus used again in his another work. Those two illustrations made by a Japanese painter Kason Suzuki (鈴木華邨) according to Carus' requests well reveal his perception of Buddhism. In relation to the Tokyo edition of Karma, I argue about illustrations derived from typical Japanese Buddhist paintings and refer to recent research on crepe-paper books (ちりめん本). My work on these points has brought us better understanding on Carus' inside. On one hand Paul Carus expressed sympathy for Japanese culture, but at the same time he was an unbiased observer. Although he was interested in Japanese Buddhism, it didn't change his point of view that led him to create a unique book--Karma.