The Illustrated Scroll of the Wine and Rice Debate, Shuhanron emaki, author and date unknown, 16th-century, is a Japanese manuscript kept at the French National Library. The scroll, seven meters long, illustrates three medieval dining scenes. It features a formal banquet at warrior’s mansion, a sake wine reception at a courtier’s residence, and a monastic formal dinner at a temple. It displays three figures who represent the three social elites: aristocracy, Buddhist clergy, and the then dominating warrior class. The scroll painting constitutes a valuable source of knowledge about the political and social environment at the capital of Kyoto in medieval Japan.
Few episodes in the Old French epic tradition are as troubling to notions of good behaviour as that in which a group of Christians eat their defunct adversaries. Described in the 12th-century Chanson d’Antioche, this act of battlefield cannibalism inspires disgust in the Crusaders and rage in the besieged Muslim army. In this paper I will examine the resulting othering of a Christian group by an ostensibly Christian poet through the lens of postcolonial and Mediterranean studies. I will also discuss the resonance of such acts both for medieval audiences, and for later understandings of Crusader-Muslim relations.