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Utagawa Kunisada II

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Utagawa Kunisada II, Japanese, (1823–1880)
Ando Hiroshige II, Japanese, (1826–1869)
Kannon Pilgrimage Record, Western Provinces No. 9 Nanendo, Kofuku-ji, 1859
Ink on Paper
13 in. x 9 in. (33.02 cm x 22.86 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Edo (Japan, 1615-1868)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2001.2.14

Alternate Title: Kannon Reigenki Saigoku junrei Nanendo, Kofukuji

Kasuga is the deity worshiped at the Kasuga Great Shrine in the ancient capital of Nara. Since about the 8th century, he has been considered the protective deity of Nara and of the powerful Fujiwara clan – many of whom were members of the imperial line. He is shown here as an elderly nobleman riding a white deer looking at a nobleman in black, probably a member of the Fujiwara clan, who bows before him making an offering of what appears to be a sacred text. Even today, deer—once believed to be the sacred messengers of the deity—roam freely in and around the Kasuga Shrine grounds.

- Meher McArthur, January 7, 2021

There are two seals in the lower right, and one in the upper right. Signed Toyokuni and Hiroshige.

Color woodblock print; ink on paper; oban tate-e.

Object Description
Edo period color woodblock print, depicting a Heian priest bowing before the vision of a deity riding a white deer. The priest is a Fujiwara family member, and he is paying homage to the Kasuga Shrine deity. The upper scene shows the west hall at Kofuku-ji.

Hiroshige II designed the landscape scene with the Nara temple at top. Kunisada II designed the figural scene below depicting a Fujiwara clan courtier paying homage to a Kasuga Shrine deity on a white deer.

Related Objects
See also 2001.2.14 # 9 Kofuku-ji
See also 2017.1.12 #29 Matsuno-dera
See also 2003.1.95 #26, Kiyomizudera
See also 2017.1.14 #23, Kachio-ji, Settsu
See also 2019.1.84 #15, Imakumano

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