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Showa Period (1926-1989)

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Ueno Tadamasa, Japanese, (1904–1970)
Fudo, 1952
Ink on Paper
36.2 cm x 24 cm (14 1/4 in. x 9 7/16 in.)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Showa (Japan, 1926-1989)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2001.2.23

Full Title: The Eighteen Famous Roles of Ichikawa Danjuro: Fudo

Superb impression with gauffrage.

There is a seal in the lower right.

Colored ink woodblock on off-white paper. Large Oban tat-e.

Object Description
Showa period color woodblock print of the actor Ichikawa Danjuro in the role of Fudo holding a ceremonial sword and sitting among flames.

In Fudo, the evil within crazed monk Narukami is resolved by forcing him to take the form of this deity after expelling his hatred. Fudo, a guardian figure who protects the Buddhist faith, never yields to obstacles and is therefore known as Fudo myoo “The Immovable Bright King.” The first Ichikawa Danjuro chose to worship Fudo as a patron deity who would protect him and his family.

The print shows Fudo surrounded by flames, as he is known to enter a fire-emitting meditation, and the inclusion of rope, elaborate jewelry, and a sword pays homage to popular descriptions of the deity. Curiously, Fudo is intended to be a menacing figure, while the two artists portrayed him as a much less threatening figure complete with comedic facial expressions.

Watanabe Shozaburo.

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