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Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Tiger, Kagurazaka Bishamon

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Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Parody of the 12 Zodiac Animals: Tiger, Kagurazaka Bishamon, 08/08/1893
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: 2005.1.46

Alternate Title: Mitate junishi: Kagurazaka Bishamon

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 Nobuyasu jo

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

Object Description
A boy is dressed like the Buddhist Guardian King Bishamonten, holding a trident and wooden pagoda (that represents the relics of the historical Buddha). The boy's mother holds a calico cat (a "tiger" symbol) while the family servant giggles and points at her young master.

The inset shows a temple hall dedicated to Bishamonten, whose name appears on the red paper lantern inside the door. The gateway has modern wrought iron panels affixed to a traditional stone gatepost, and a rickshaw is being pulled down the street - all indications of the modern Meiji era. However, the stores seem to be traditional buildings, and the merchants have contributed the red paper lanterns that flank the gate, reading "mid-merchants" (shonai chu) association.

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.

Morimoto Junzaburo

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