Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Bird, Asakusa Rice Fields
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Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Bird, Asakusa Rice Fields, 09/20/1893
Ink on Paper
9 1/16 in. x 13 3/4 in. (23 cm x 35 cm)
Currently bound together with other 11 prints in the series in folding album.
Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu” with Enko/ Nobuoki
Colored ink on paper, sheets assembled in folding album format, red silk on the covers, woodblock prints.
In the 11th month, the Tori no Ichi Festival is held at the Hanamata Washi Daimyojin Shinto Shrine of the Buddhist temple of Chokoku-ji. An important image at the temple, popular with actors and courtesans, depicts Myoken, Bodhisattva of the North Pole Star, standing on an eagle (washi). Myoken was thought to protect the nation and increase one's lifespan. Chokoku-ji was located in the rice fields (denpo) of Asakusa, just west of the Shin-Yoshiwara licensed pleasure quarters, and the temple gates facing the brothels were specially opened on festival days. During the Tori no Ichi Festival, pilgrims like to buy a bamboo rake in the shape of a bear paw (kumade) in order to "rake in" prosperity; often these kumade are decorated with a mask of Okame/ Otafuku, whose plump face is associated with abundance, and with a measuring box (masu) for gathering up wealth. In this print the man in a brown jacket (haori) is carrying a large ornamented rake, and the woman in a black overcoat holds a paper card with kumade hairpins.
For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.
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