Japan Art and Tokyo in the Winter: Buddhism
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Inoue Yasuji (1864-1889) depicts the Asakusa Kannon Buddhist Temple (Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji) in the print above. This famous Buddhist temple is steeped in the distant history of Tokyo.
The Senso-ji website says, “In 645, a Buddhist priest named Shokai came to this region and built a hall for the Kannon. Following a revelation he received in a dream, Shokai decided to hide the statue from view. Since that time, it has remained never unveiled.”
The print above is by Kasamatsu Shirō (1898-1991). He created this stunning print in the early 1950s.
Two ladies are enjoying winter in Inokashira with the backdrop of a holy place. Accordingly, despite the snow and cold-looking nature of the print, a warmth of joy prevails.
The final print is by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957). He belongs to the world of Shin-Hanga (New Prints).
Kawase Hasui – similar to the first print by Inoue Yasuji – highlights the Buddhist angle. Accordingly, the Zojo-ji Buddhist Temple is illuminated by the winter setting.
The Zojo-ji Buddhist Temple website says, “Zojoji was relocated to the present site in 1598 after Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, entered Edo (present-day Tokyo) in 1590 to establish his provincial government.”
https://www.senso-ji.jp/english/ Senso-ji Buddhist Temple
https://www.zojoji.or.jp/en/ Zojo-ji Buddhist Temple
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