Dojoji is a highly dramatic story of religious ideals and practices and how women are represented as evil, demonic creatures and the influence they can have. The story begins with some unlikely events surrounding the temple of Dojoji. The day was a beautiful one and the servants of the temple were enjoying the day pleasantly. Readers are informed about a bell used to reside and ring within the temple walls for a great number of years. All was well and good at Dojoji until an unspeakable evil ravaged into the temple gates and tragically destroyed the temple bell.
What was this unspeakable evil? A demonic serpent controlling the form of a woman. Many years ago, a holy priest from the northern part of the country took himself on an annual journey to a great shrine and visiting a steward’s house every time. The priest and the steward were quite close; they helped each other during unfortunate times and would provide one another with food, shelter, and comfort. The priest knew the steward’s daughter pretty well, considered her like a sister, and would provide her with gifts every time he would visit. The daughter has been in love with the priest for as long as she can remember but could not fathom the impossible reality of the two of them joining together in marriage. The steward, her father, thought it was be cute and humorous to joke with his daughter and telling her that she will marry the priest when she is of the right age. Well, after some years of visitations and gift-exchanging the steward’s daughter approached the priest when he came to visit them and demanded his hand in marriage. She was of age and her father did say she would become the priest’s wife, but she did not realize that her father was simply joking. But she did not realize that and she would not take no for an answer. The priest was so terrified that he ran from the steward’s house, crossed across the river to the Dojoji temple and begged for the servants to let him hide somewhere, anywhere. He decided on the great bell of the temple. The crazy daughter could never find him underneath there. The steward’s daughter was so angry and enraged with the priest for denying her; how could he reject her? A beautiful maiden who was promised his hand when she was of age! Her rage became so powerful and distraught, she took the form a giant serpent and slithered to Dojoji. She eventually found the priest and wanted him dead. She viciously killed the great priest by wrapping herself around the bell where he hid from her and burnt him to death inside.
The religious central theme of the story is exorcism. After the giant serpent killed the priest of the Northern Province, the servants of the temple were not sure what to do. What could they do to rid the temple of his unholy creation? They eventually resolved to perform an exorcism on the girl’s malevolent spirit. They prayed and chant different vows to the gods in hopes of vanquishing the demon. Luckily, the servants were able to drive the monstrous serpent away from the holy grounds with her prayers, chants, vows, and rosaries.
Now how do exorcisms affect the social aspect of the worldview of the East Asian cultures? The story draws significant attention on how various cultures perceive women. Dojoji portrays women as these evil, demonic creatures who do not entirely understand humor and will go to great lengths to try to get what they want, but then become frantic and crazy when they end up not getting those things. These powerful demons can have the power to cause great mayhem and fear in a group of people with strong religious views. In some cultures, women are perceived to be mystical temptresses who are willing to manipulate the forces of nature, lure others to their inevitable deaths, and establish dominance to give a message.
But what was the girl trying to establish her dominance and do everything else for? She was an evil demon who wanted to kill strictly for blood-thirst and ruin the divine nature and power of an infinite, supernatural entity far beyond their capabilities. By the demon establishing dominance in a religious temple, it was pushing fear and manipulation into evil and darkness overpowering goodnight and light. By the rule of women being forbidden from temple grounds, the reality of men establishing their masculine dominance in their cultures is apparent across the world.