Miracles of Kannon - This large series designed in 1858-1859 by Toyokuni III and Kunisada II in collaboration with Hiroshige II pairs miracles performed by Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, with scenes of temples in the Western, Central, and Eastern provinces of Japan. Toyokuni III created the large figural scenes at the bottom of each image for most of the series, with Kunisada II contributing a few designs, while Hiroshige II designed the landscape views across the top of each print. A wonderful combination of expressive figures and lyrical scenic views, these interesting prints feature lively color and fine detail. A nice unusual series, and a great choice for collectors interested in classic Japanese tales or Buddhist imagery.
Fujii-dera in Kawachi Province, Temple 5 of the Saikoku Pilgrimage Route, 1858 - Fantastic image from the story of Fujii Yasumoto, who lived a degenerate life, thinking only of himself. One day he killed a deer near a rustic mountain temple, and proceeded to cut it up on an altar from the temple and cook it over a fire made from temple furnishings. Immediately after eating his meal, he died, and a fiery chariot pulled by devils arrived, taking his body straight to hell. The Goddess Kannon appealed to the guardians of hell, arguing that Yasumoto's sins were grave, but once he had cut down trees to help build Hasedera Temple, so he deserved another chance. He was restored to life and became a devout Buddhist, returning to Hasedera and carving a statue of Kannon from sacred wood. Impressed with this story, the Emperor Shomu had the temple of Fujii-dera built to enshrine the statue. Here, Yasumoto sits behind a table, chopping up a deer leg with his sword, keeping an eye of the roaring fire with a kettle hanging above it. A ghostly image of the horned demons pulling a cart in flames appears in the smoke from the fire, with an image of Fujii-dera above. A great design, wonderfully detailed and shaded, from this fascinating story.
Image Size - 13 3/8" x 8 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with nice color and detail as shown. Backed with paper. Some prints have a couple creases or a light vertical line where backing papers meet. A couple have a small repair. Please see photos for details.
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