Stories of Famous Japanese Women: To Ransen, 1894, no day or month indicated
Ink on Paper
14 3/8 in. x 19 in. (36.51 cm x 48.26 cm)
Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”
Colored ink woodblock diptych on off-white paper.
According to the text panel, "Ransen was originally a person from Japan, and even though she was a woman, she had a pure heart and acquired the magic of the immortals, riding dragons and floating on clouds without end." From other sources, she reportedly attained spiritual awakening to the teachings of Buddhism and learned Daoist techniques. Eventually she resided at the base of Mt. Yoshino and protected that realm. Chikanobu depicts her sailing over the coast, holding a gnarled staff like a Chinese immortal. She looks back to the shore where a little boy points her out to 3 adults, one of whom appears to be a female traveler, perhaps on a pilgrimage to Yoshino and Kumano on the Kii Peninsula.
For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.
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