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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Kono-hana-sakuya-hime, Sengen, the Goddess of Mt. Fuji, late 19th century
Woodblock print on paper


Object Type: Print
Technique: Woodblock print
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Meher McArthur
Accession Number: 2020.5.1


Commentary
This print is a relatively rare depiction of Kono-hana-sakuya-hime, the kami of Mount Fuji. Also known as Sengen, this deity has been worshipped as the protector of Japan's most sacred mountain since the Edo period. The main shrine is in the southwestern foothills of Mount Fuji but there are over 1,000 associated shrines nationwide. According to legend, Kono-hana-sakuya-hime (“Princess of the Blossoming Tree”) was the daughter of the mountain god Ōyama-tsumi and wife of the god Ninigi-no-mikoto, grandson of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, the most revered of all kami. Here, the deity is shown standing in front of Mount Fuji dressed like a female Imperial courtier in layered robes that spread outwards over her platform mimicking the form of the mountain. She holds a camellia branch, from which hang white paper strips used for purification. She is elegant and calm yet formidable, just like the mountain.

- Meher McArthur, January 7, 2021

Medium
Woodblock print with hand coloring on paper

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image After Treatment, Recto Overall
After Treatment, Recto Overall
Additional Image After Treatment, Verso Overall
After Treatment, Verso Overall
Additional Image Before Treatment, Recto Overall
Before Treatment, Recto Overall
Additional Image Before Treatment, Verso Overall
Before Treatment, Verso Overall

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