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  • Thumbnail for Burning barrels
    Burning barrels

    Two red barrels that are used to burn offerings. The ash is visible on the ground around the barrels.

  • Thumbnail for A classic altar for the deities
    A classic altar for the deities

    A classic altar for the deities

  • Thumbnail for Long table of offerings
    Long table of offerings

    This long table contains many offerings.

  • Thumbnail for Public offerings
    Public offerings

    This elaborate offering is placed in a public space.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese Temple Bell - bell only
    Japanese Temple Bell - bell only

    Shipped from Yokohama to the campus. The bell is inscribed with the following text in both English and Japanese: "Are we not all one family". Weight: 400 lbs; Diameter: 21.6 inches. A wooden ringer hangs on a post of the torii that supports and frames the bell. Library staff ring the bell at the end of each academic year. Location: basement of Beeghly Library. The library construction post-dates the bell and it appears the stairwell nook in which the bell resides, hovering over a very Japanese-looking bed of rocks, was designed specifically for this piece. Although this is not an old bell from a Japanese temple, it is an interesting, finely created example of the craft, showing the perpetuation of this craftmaking skill into the present age. It is a fitting symbol of friendship between the two cultures and typifies the Japanese propensity for spreading the doctrine of peace through traditional symbolic imagery in the post WW II era.

  • Thumbnail for Scene from the series: Story of Loyal, Prominent, and Faithful Samurai, act 4 (Ch?y? gishi roku dai yon)
    Scene from the series: Story of Loyal, Prominent, and Faithful Samurai, act 4 (Ch?y? gishi roku dai yon) by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864)

    Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper. Signed: Ichisai Toyokuni Hitsu. Two round censor seals at the top of the picture used between18471848. Right: Yoshimura Gentaro; left: Muramatsu Yoshimura. This print is nice because its border has not been trimmed and the round censor seals are still intact above the top margin of the picture. The series portrays the most famous vendetta of samurai retainers in the Edo period, the Chushingura, or the tale of the 47 masterless samurai (ronin). On the snowy night of January 30, 1703, in an incident known as the Ako vendetta, forty-six samurai who had sworn an oath to revenge their master's needless death burst into the mansion of the man responsible for the death of their former master, Asano Naganori, the lord of Ako. They were led by Oishi Kuranosuke, Asano's chief advisor. Their intended victim, Kira Yoshinaka, was a powerful noble and an important retainer of the imperial household. After refusing the opportunity to die by his own hand, Kira was killed with the same dagger Asano had used to commit seppuku, and then beheaded. At dawn on the following morning the samurai surrendered themselves to the priests of a Buddhist temple to await their punishment. The vendetta served as the basis for what is without doubt the most famous and popular work of the Japanese Kabuki theater, Kanadehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers: A Model for Emulation). During the Tokugawa era (1600-1868) there was a ban on the depiction in art or the dramatization on stage of current historical events using the actual names of the nobility involved. Therefore, the theatrical version of the Ako vendetta was set in the days of the fourteenth-century shogun Takauiji; Asano, Kira, and Oishi became Enya, Moronao, and Oboshi, and the setting of the play was changed from Edo to Kamakura. Act IV, depicted here, consists entirely of Enya's seppuku, the punishment ordered by the shogun for his attempt on Moronao's life. This scene, filled with quiet, yet terrible, passion, is one of the classical moments of kabuki theater. As the preparations for his suppuku are completed, Enya swears to "return to life again and again until my vengeance is accomplished." From an adjoining room Enya's retainers beg through the closed door to be allowed one last look at their master. In silence Enya, dressed in white, the traditional color of death, waits for Yuranosuke while he continues his preparations. A thick, white tatami mat is laid with branches of ceremonial herbs in each corner. Enya slides his outer-garment off on his shoulders and tucks the long ends firmly under his knees so that the tension of the fabric will cause him to fall face down. At a silent signal Rikiya enters bringing a short sword on a wooden stand. Finally, there is nothing else left to do; Enya gathers his composure, and in a swift motion takes up the sword and drives it into his stomach. Just then Yuranosuke enters and speaks in calm, almost fatherly tones, bidding Enya to die bravely. Gazing steadily into his chamberlain's face, Enya tells Yuranosuke that he must avenge his death using this very same sword, and with a last effort completes the act of ritual suicide.

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for widow arch
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for widow arch

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Chinese flat roof tiles, with relief designs of dragons - fragment
    Chinese flat roof tiles, with relief designs of dragons - fragment

    Earthenware with brightly colored glazes in blue, green, and yellow. Three are round (one of these broken); two have cloud-shaped borders (one is broken). Provenance: Peking

  • Thumbnail for Chinese flat roof tiles, with relief designs of dragons -fragment
    Chinese flat roof tiles, with relief designs of dragons -fragment

    Earthenware with brightly colored glazes in blue, green, and yellow. Three are round (one of these broken); two have cloud-shaped borders (one is broken). Provenance: Peking

  • Thumbnail for Mount Fuji
    Mount Fuji by Takahashi Hiroaki (1871-1945)

    Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper, framed under glass.

  • Thumbnail for Food vendors offer their ancestors help
    Food vendors offer their ancestors help

    The workers at this stand maintain a table of offerings.

  • Thumbnail for Street Offering
    Street Offering

    A container which is used to burn offerings during the Hungry Ghost Festival.

  • Thumbnail for Offering Allowed
    Offering Allowed

    A man burns offerings in a No-Parking zone.

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for men lighting pipe
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for men lighting pipe

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: two friends greeting eachother
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: two friends greeting eachother

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Lady's Changfu (third level informal court attire) robe with designs of flowers, bats, waves, butterflies, and clouds (round detail)
    Chinese Lady's Changfu (third level informal court attire) robe with designs of flowers, bats, waves, butterflies, and clouds (round detail)

    Roundels contain auspicious imagery--peonies and bats; bats are also featured in the wave pattern hem; and bats, flowers, and butterflies float freely outside the roundels on the front and back of the garment. Plain weave pale green satin ground with sections of dark blue ground on the sleeve; red, blue, yellow and orange satin stitch and seed (Peking) stitch silk thread embroidery. Length: 126 cm; sleeve length: 74 cm length. The ground color was probably originally darker, closer to turquoise. This garment is typical of its type in that it mimics the shape of men's garments. It was made for wives of officials who were required to wear the same type garments as their husbands. Both have eight roundels with embroidered designs, three in front, three in back, and one on each shoulder. The sleeves are cut wide and have bands filled with embroidered patterns between the large cuffs and the shoulders. Women's robes are distinguished from those worn by men by their high side slits and by their decorative motifs, as here, dominated by flowers, bats, and butterflies.

  • Thumbnail for Page showing the Kyoto Hachiman Shrine, from the book, Wakoku meisho kagami - A Mirror of Famous Sites of Japan
    Page showing the Kyoto Hachiman Shrine, from the book, Wakoku meisho kagami - A Mirror of Famous Sites of Japan by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694)

    Double page woodblock printed book illustration; ink and light colors (applied by hand) on paper. This small page from an important, VERY rare early printed book, by the founding father of Ukiyo-e printmaking, is a precursor to the types of books that in the 18th century became produced in great numbers and were in widespread circulation then. During the 18th century, travel (or armchair travels) became exceedingly popular. The description of the place, written from right to left above the illustration, shows how integral pictures were to printed texts. The placement of the text above the illustration was an innovation of Moronobu and is characteristic of his books.

  • Thumbnail for Dao Coin with Circular Top
    Dao Coin with Circular Top

    Dao are early coins made in the shape of weapons, datable to the 1st c BCE to the 1st century CE. Material: cast metal alloy. 7.5 cm in total length; handle is 1.2 cm in width and the circular top is 2.6 cm in width. This is an example of early coinage that was issued while the economy evolved from a barter to an monetary economy. Bronze knives and bronze spades were common barter items in ancient China, but a bit awkward or hazardous to carry around to trade. Some of China's first coins were made to look like a knife or like a stylized spade, so that people would think of them as money, however they were too thin and fragile to be used for anything but money. The knife coin and the spade coin developed in different areas of China about the same time. This knife coin is called the "Ming" after the city where it was made (not the dynasty that was much later).

  • Thumbnail for Chinese table - dragon detail
    Chinese table - dragon detail by Designed by Carl F. Kupfer, and made by Chinese students at Chinkiang Institute.

    Size: Height: 78.5 cm, length of the table-top: 118.5 cm, width of the table top: 71 cm. Material: Teakwood, Black Lacquer, and Mother of Pearl. The table was designed by Carl F. Kupfer. It was made of teakwood, black lacquer, and mother of pearl by Chinese students at Chinkiang Institute (a mission station) in 1899. No nails were used in its construction. The table is similar to one located in the Baldwin Wallace College Chapel. Both tables have the bishops’ likenesses and Chinese motifs. In the central rectangle of this table, there are figures representing the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church; at the corners of the rectangle, four small squares contain the likenesses of S. L. Baldwin, W. T. Smith, A. B. Leonard, and A. L. Palmer.

  • Thumbnail for Pomegranates
    Pomegranates by Ito Wako (born 1945)

    Edition: 13/150. Mezzotint; ink and colors on paper.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese woman's skirt - whole
    Chinese woman's skirt - whole

    Green ground satin with multi-colored satin stitch silk thread embroidery of floral designs. Length: 82 cm. Although the coat is not an elaborate example, the embroidery is finely executed and the piece is in decent condition. Its very nice to have this garment intact, to be able to see the embroidery panels on the sleeves, which are often removed and used in the West as decorative wall panels. As for the skirt, the embroidery is finely executed but obviously not as meticulous as earlier Qing examples. Still, as securely datable garments, these are good indicators of the quality of traditional clothing of their day. That they were made for a foreigner is also interesting, as they reflect the vogue of fashion conscious ladies of that time for Asian art (which was being avidly collected in the West).

  • Thumbnail for Setting the stage
    Setting the stage

    Two men are setting this stage for the celebration of the Hungry Ghost festival.

  • Thumbnail for Helping the Spirits
    Helping the Spirits

    Three men burn paper offerings during the Hungry Ghost Festival

  • Thumbnail for Fresh fruit
    Fresh fruit

    Fresh fruit is offered to the spirits.

  • Thumbnail for Burning barrel
    Burning barrel

    This man is preparing to burn paper offerings.