Japan Art and Kubota Beisen: Thunder God and Warrior Monk Benkei

Japan Art and Kubota Beisen: Thunder God and Warrior Monk Benkei

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kubota Beisen (1852-1906) was born during the last period of the Edo Period. Hence, he developed his artistic skills during the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912).

His delightful art includes the Thunder God (Raijin) taking a hot bath above. However, far from the fearsome reputation of the Thunder God, he looks almost human while taking a hot bath.

The Thunder God is incorporated in Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan. Accordingly, Raijin can be seen in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

Naturally, the Thunder God is deemed mischievous by some. However, to others, Raijin protected Japan from the invading Mongols in distant history.

The acclaimed Saito no Musashibo Benkei (1155-1189) is depicted in the second print. Benkei is a famous and highly esteemed Japanese warrior of the twelfth century.

Indeed, not only is Benkei revered for his loyalty, prowess, and knowledge – but he is also deeply admired for his Buddhist faith.

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