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Japanese Mythology

Item # 73252 - One Hundred Aspects of the Moon - #30 - The Moon Through a Crumbling Window - Sold for $550 - 12/24/2017
"Tsuki Hyakushi; Haso no Tsuki" ("One Hundred Aspects of the Moon; The Moon through a Crumbling Window"). No. 30. Bodhidharma (Japanese: Daruma) sat for meditation for nine years. During that time, the walls around him crumbled and the nature took over the ruins.
Daruma introduced Chan (Japanese: Zen) Buddhism to China. The full moon (circle) in the picture also represents emptiness, the central quality of enlightenment.

The artelino archive offers a database of more than 50,000 sold Japanese prints with detailed descriptions, large images and results. artelino clients with an active purchase history and authorized consignors of artelino have full access to our archive. Read the archive guide and test a trial version.
By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (Taiso) 1839-1892

The Japanese culture and arts have been strongly influenced by a wide-spread belief in ghosts, demons and supernatural spirits. The roots of Japanese mythology are in the Shinto religion, in Taoism and in Zen Buddhism alike.

Daruma

Daruma is the founder of Zen Buddhism in Japan (552 AD). Originally an Indian priest named Bodhidharma, he crossed all over China to introduce Buddhism in Japan. The legend says that he crossed the sea from China to Japan standing on a bamboo. Daruma is mostly shown in a position of meditation. He is said to have lost the use of his arms and legs by meditating for nine years in a cave. Therefore he is often shown as Daruma doll without legs and arms.

The Daruma dolls, or today simply called Daruma, are a symbol of good luck in Japan. Students having their exams or companies starting a new enterprise, buy a Daruma for good luck.

Kintaro - the Tarzan kid

Item # 38238 - Wild Boy and Hero - Yoshitoshi Musha Burui - Sold for $120 - 10/19/2008
"Yoshitoshi Musha Burui" (Yoshitoshi's Courageous Warriors). Here: Minamoto no Raiko discovers an over-grown wild boy, Kintaro, on Ashigara Mountain. Kintaro later became one of Raiko's famous four retainers and was named "Sakata no Kintoki".

The artelino archive offers a database of more than 50,000 sold Japanese prints with detailed descriptions, large images and results. artelino clients with an active purchase history and authorized consignors of artelino have full access to our archive. Read the archive guide and test a trial version.
By Yoshitoshi Tsukioka (Taiso) 1839-1892

Kintaro, also called the "Golden Boy", was a child of extreme strengths. The son of a princess, he was brought up by Yamauba, an old woman living in the mountains. Kintaro lived in the mountain woods and talked to the animals. He was so strong that he could bend trees like nothing.

In one of the legendary stories, Kintaro one day had a fight with a demon that took the form of a gigantic spider. Kintaro uprooted a tree and smashed the evil spider demon with the tree. On Japanese art objects, Kintaro is usually shown fighting with a wild animal or a demon. Needless to mention that he won all his fights. When he was grown-up (!), Kintaro became a warrior calling himself Sakata Kintoki.

Oni

Oni are devil-like demons with long nails, wild hair, a fierce look and two horns on their forehead like the devil images known in Western Christian cultures. They wear tiger skins and can fly. Oni hunt for the souls of those who did evil things in their lives. In a nutshell, a guy one would not like to encounter in the darkness!

The Oni character is a deep-rooted aspect of Japanese culture. Japanese children grow up with tales of Oni. In medieval times, people living on distant islands were considered as oni. And during the time of the Japanese seclusion from the rest of the world and during war times, foreigners were looked at as Oni.

Raiden

Item # 58307 - Fishing the Thunder God - Sold for $160 - 8/15/2013
Kabuki actor Seki Sanjuro is in the role of a fisherman, who found a thunder god clinging the anchor he just pulled up.
The orange color of the Raiden (Thunder God) is beautifully oxidized. A very good work by Kunisada from his very sought-after early prime period. Prints depicting Raiden is rare and highly desired by Japanese collectors.

The artelino archive offers a database of more than 50,000 sold Japanese prints with detailed descriptions, large images and results. artelino clients with an active purchase history and authorized consignors of artelino have full access to our archive. Read the archive guide and test a trial version.
By Kunisada Utagawa 1786-1865

Raiden got his name from the two Japanese words rai for thunder and den for lightening. According to the Japanese legend he saved Japan from a fleet of invading Mongolians in 1274. The way he managed it, was by sitting on a cloud, throwing a shower of lightening arrows against the Mongolian fleet. As the god of thunder, Raiden is shown with a drum.

Sarumawashi (Saruma Washi)

Sarumawashi are more a character of real life than of mythology. Sarumawashi is formed of the Japanese words saru (monkey) and mawashi (trainer). Sometimes it is written as Saru Mawashi. Sarumawashi are street performers, traveling from one place to another and making a living by entertaining people with their trained monkey/s.

Unlike in Western civilizations, monkeys are a symbol of wisdom in Japan. Saru Mawashi are neither a legend nor a thing of the past. Even today, they can be found in Japan in crowded places making a living by showing performances of their trained monkey. Saru Mawashi performances are even shown on Japanese TV shows.

Dieter WanczuraAuthor: Dieter Wanczura

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