Scenery of Enoshima
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Scenery of Enoshima, c. 1806-1831
Ink on Paper
9 1/2 in. x 13 7/8 in. (24.13 cm. x 35.24 cm.)
Benzaiten, or Benten, is one of Japan‘s many syncretic deities, worshipped as both a kami and a Buddhist deity. The goddess is associated with water and music, culture and entertainment, and is often shown playing a lute – a nod to her origin as the Hindu goddess Sarasvatī, who was absorbed into Buddhism and brought to Japan around the 7th century. Many shrines to Benzaiten are located close to water, most famously Enoshima Shrine off the coast of Kamakura near Tokyo. In this print, an elegant group of entertainers from Edo’s pleasure quarters are heading towards the island shrine to pray to their patron goddess. The crashing waves behind them seem to hint at the powers of the goddess.
- Meher McArthur, January 7, 2021
On mat, in pencil: Utamaro 9/94 "Enoshima no fukei" Bai III 58. Signed: Utamaro hitsu.
Colored ink on paper. Oban woodblock print.
IEdo period color woodblock print with an image of a group of travellers.
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