Chiyoda Outer Palace: Sanno Festival
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Chiyoda Outer Palace: Sanno Festival, 3/11/1897
Ink on Paper
14 1/16 in. x 28 1/8 in. (35.72 cm x 71.44 cm)
Fine impressions with gauffrage and mica.
Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”
Colored ink woodblock triptych on off-white paper. Oban triptych.
In the 6th month of alternate years in Edo/Tokyo, the Sanno Festival was celebrated with a parade of floats, banners, musicians and specially dressed groups processing from the Shinto Shrine of Hie Sanno Jinja to Edo Castle. The parade would pass through various neighborhoods outside the moat and then go before a specially built reviewing stand inside the castle grounds, where the shogun and his party (including ladies-in-waiting) would officially inspect the procession. The first Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu had taken the Mountain Gods (Sanno gongen) as his personal guardians, and throughout the Edo Period, the Tokugawa promoted the Sanno Festival, also known as the "All under Heaven Festival" (Tenka matsuri), as one of the three great Shinto celebrations of Japan, along with the Gion Festival in Kyoto and the Temma no Tenjin Festival in Osaka.
In this print, Edo Castle looms in the background. Among the floats were flower carts (hanagaruma) decorated with various figurines, such as the monkey seen in plate 155 of the Chikanobu catalogue (2001.2.111). One of the highlights was the enormous elephant, made of wood and fabric which was moved by men walking inside the elephants legs. Accompanying the beast are local citizens dressed in costume, including some with flower decorated hats and others wearing Korean style garments.
For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.
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