Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru 2019 Bangkok

Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru

Bangkok, 2019
Stills from videoperformance
Appropriation of Three Wise Monkeys legend





„See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil“ Three Wise Monkeys legend

The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The carvings at Tōshō-gū Shrine were carved by Hidari Jingoro, and believed to have incorporated Confucius’s Code of Conduct, using the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle. There are a total of eight panels, and the iconic three wise monkeys picture comes from panel 2. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with a TendaiBuddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period). It has been suggested that the figures represent the three dogmas of the so-called middle school of the sect.