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Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Boar, Shitaya Marishiten

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Boar, Shitaya Marishiten, 10/01/1893
Ink on Paper
9 1/16 in. x 13 3/4 in. (23 cm x 35 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2005.1.55

Alternate Title: Mitate junishi: Inoshishi, Shitaya Marishiten

Currently bound together with other 11 prints in the series in folding album.

Excellent impression and colors, fine gradations, shomen-zuri pattern on the last sheet (2005.1.55). Most of the sheets in the album are the first edition printing.

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu” with Enko/ Nobuoki

Colored ink on paper, sheets assembled in folding album format, red silk on the covers, woodblock prints.

Object Description
The esoteric Buddhist deity Marishiten is of Indian origin, the daughter of Brahma (J: Bonten) and associated with rays of the sun. Images of Marishi have multiple arms and faces and are shown riding a wild boar, hence the association with this zodiac animal. The goddess was popular with both samurai and merchants as a protector. Here one woman offers prayers while another holds incense sticks.

In the inset a boy in a black school uniform at left and a man in a top hat at right give a modern sense to this street scene with traditional vendors and entertainers in the Shitaya area downhill from Ueno.

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue

Morimoto Junzaburo

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