Religious institutions are frequently depicted as corrupt and lavish institutions staffed by posers swollen with pride who are nothing but fools, hypocrites, or conmen. This scathing depiction of religious institutions is a topic that also appears in the Seven Tengu Scrolls (Shichi tengu e), a picture scroll constructed in the late 13th century, a time typically known for its religious devotion. Naturally, the uniquely scathing critique of the Japanese religious establishment and religious figures found in the Shichi tengu e has led scholars to focus on the issues of violence, greed, pride and sexual misconduct found in the scrolls and to imagine the factional fighting between various sects, particularly the conflicts between Enryakuji and Onjōji, as the reason for their production. However, this focus on factional conflict has also obstructed a complete analysis of these scrolls’ contents therefore limiting scholars’ ability to adequately address the issue of who produced these scrolls and why. Through an analysis of newly discovered manuscripts and the visual clues included within the Shichi tengu e itself, I will demonstrate that—alongside depictions of corruption—depictions of dance and musical performance are essential to understanding the meaning of the scrolls and the context for their production. In addition to the portrayal of corruption, it is also in its illustration of the soteriological potentials of Buddhist doctrine, ritual, and performing arts that the Shichi tengu e serves to highlight a religious ideal that is embedded in the images and text of the work.