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  • Thumbnail for Shrine on the Island of Miyajima
    Shrine on the Island of Miyajima

    Central to Shinto is the belief in divine begins (kami) which traditionally inhabit heaven and earth. Divine status is attached to anything which is striking, elevated and beautiful or possesses outstanding qualities: in brief, anything which awakens a sense of awe. In this way, things of natural beauty, mountains and seas, human beings, plants and animals can become gods. Symbols of every Shinto shrine are the gateways (torii), which in their simplest form are two pillars topped by a cross beam.

  • Thumbnail for Japanese Knick-knack Peddler
    Japanese Knick-knack Peddler

    A common sight in pre-war Japan, a peddler with a wide variety of goods was a blessing for the busy housewife.

  • Thumbnail for Embroidered Sindhi shawl with mirrors
    Embroidered Sindhi shawl with mirrors

    Possibly a table runner, produced in the late 19th-early 20th century and purchased in the 1950s or 1960s. 23†x 86.5â€.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Third set of images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Sakura Sogoro leaving his Family
    Sakura Sogoro leaving his Family by YoshitoshiTsukioka

    Diptych. The subject is Sakura Sogoro (1597-1645) taking leave of his family. He was on his way to ask alleviation of taxes from Shogun Ietsuna, for which misdemeanour he and his whole family were executed in 1645. First he and his wife were forced to see their three sons being beheaded, then they themselves were crucified. Color woodblock print; image: 18 3/8†x 13 1/4†(46.6 cm x 34.8 cm). on two 14 3/4†x 10†(37.5 cm x 25.5 cm) sheets.

  • Thumbnail for Looking as if She Wants to Change: The Appearance of a Proprietess of the Kaei era (1848-1854) (Kaita-so: Kaei nenkan o kamisan no fuzoku)
    Looking as if She Wants to Change: The Appearance of a Proprietess of the Kaei era (1848-1854) (Kaita-so: Kaei nenkan o kamisan no fuzoku) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

    # 18 from the series: Thirty-two Aspects of Customs and Manners (Fuzoku sanjuniso). Woodblock print in ink and colors on paper. Vertical ōban size. This image is a nice, but not great, later printing. Reference: John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's Women: The Woodblock Print Series "Fuzoku Sanjuni so." Boulder, CO: Avery Press, 1986; reprinted in 1995 in association with the University of Washington Press.

  • Thumbnail for Nautch scene with three women
    Nautch scene with three women

    Punjabi school, made for export to the West; gouache on paper. 6.75†x 4.5â€

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Sixrth set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages)
    Jidai Kagami (Mirror of the Ages) by Chikanobu, Toyohara (1837-1912)

    Tenth set of two images of women from bound accordion-fold album of 30 woodblock prints with colophon. One half of full series of 50 prints depicting Japanese women of different historical periods highlighting their hairstyles and modes of dress.

  • Thumbnail for Keris from Java - detail of handle
    Keris from Java - detail of handle by Unknown

    Wood, carved ivory and metal, 18-1/2 (L) x 1-1/2 (W) x 2-1/8 (Depth) inches; blade and handle. A pair of symmetrical horses flank the lower back of the handle and above them are a pair of winged apsarases. Lotus and vegetative/floral garlands, along with parallel incisions, cover the rest of the surface.

  • Thumbnail for Keris from Java
    Keris from Java by Unknown

    Wood, carved ivory and metal, 18-1/2 (L) x 1-1/2 (W) x 2-1/8 (Depth) inches; blade and handle. A pair of symmetrical horses flank the lower back of the handle and above them are a pair of winged apsarases. Lotus and vegetative/floral garlands, along with parallel incisions, cover the rest of the surface.

  • Thumbnail for Actor on Walkway; Scene from Chikubushima play
    Actor on Walkway; Scene from Chikubushima play by Kogyo, Tsukioka

    Actor in elaborate costume and mask with long red hair. Published by Matsuki Heikichi. Color woodblock print. Color woodblock print; 9†x 14â€.

  • Thumbnail for Kabuki fight scene with pyrotechnics
    Kabuki fight scene with pyrotechnics by Ginko Adachi (1874-1895)

    Actors ascending through stage trap door amid fireworks. Color woodblock print;9" x 14".

  • Thumbnail for Female Dancer
    Female Dancer

    Standing figure made of low-fired white ceramic material; unglazed; painted polychrome decoration. 12†high.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi) with His Younger Brother and Son
    Portrait of Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi) with His Younger Brother and Son by Anonymous

    Hanging scroll; ink, gold, and colors on silk. 70" x 26 1/2". Stored in paulownia wood (kiri) box. Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi or Imperial Prince of Holy Virtue; 574-622) is regarded by later admirers as Japan's first great imperial statesman, the founding father of Buddhism in Japan, and the human incarnation of assorted Buddhist deities and distinguished monks. Belief in the interrelated nature of these accomplishments assured his leap to the status of mythic hero. This painting is a later version of a very famous, iconic portrait of Prince Shōtoku and his brother and son wearing Chinese-style court robes, dating to the late 7th or early 8th century and owned by the Imperial Household Agency. Paintings such as this and the cult with which they are associated came about in part because of the successful promotion of Prince Shōtoku by those with a vested interest in perpetuating the lineage of the imperial family by portraying its members as national heroes. Ironically, although power struggles within the imperial family shortly after Prince Shōtoku's death wrested authority away from his direct heirs, the usurpers could not undo the mythologizing of the Prince that elevated him to divine status.

  • Thumbnail for Kiosk in Woods
    Kiosk in Woods by Saito, Kiyoichi (1907-1997)

    Sacred kiosk in the woods, signed in block lower left “Kiyoshi Saito†with signature stamp. Color woodblock; sheet (11 5/8 X 17 1/4) image (10 1/4 x 15 1/4).

  • Thumbnail for Two Armorial Plates with design of Arms of Haggard
    Two Armorial Plates with design of Arms of Haggard

    Made for export to England, commissioned by John Haggard and his wife Elizabeth Lee, circa 1735. Porcelain with overglaze enamels and gold. 9†diameter

  • Thumbnail for Intention
    Intention by Yoshida, Toshi (1911-1995)

    Woodblock print, 27.5 x 21.25 inches, by Toshi Yoshida. At the center of this abstract print is a fascinating large red shape, with black markings on it, placed against a brown moire background. It is totally ambiguous. Could it be a standing figure, like a primeval beast or raging humanoid, or is it more like an emblem or pendant? Or is it simply a visual representation of the mental state, intention? Along with realistic prints, Toshi made many abstract prints with shapes like this in various sizes and colors.

  • Thumbnail for Fragment
    Fragment by Izumi, Shigeru

    White squiggly lines on a grey rectangle, orange horizontal stripe, smaller color squiggles beneath it

  • Thumbnail for Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) (Thangka)
    Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 47-3/4 (L) x 29 (W) inches. Padmasambhava was the Indian Guru who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century, where he is credited with founding the Nyingmapa sect. He is shown surrounded by mahasiddhas (great yogic adepts) and manifestations of his various forms. Above, from right, are Vajrahana and consort, Vajrapani, Amitabha, two mahasiddhas, an unidentified figure, Mahakala and consort, Chenrezi, a Dakini, Lodan chrogsre, Nyama Oxer, and Shakyasengge. Flanking him ae his tow consorts, Mandarawa and Yeshetsogyal. Below are a protective deity, Guru Sengge, lion headed Dakini, Dorje Drolo, Rahu, Begtse, a guardian figure, Dorje Legspa on a snow lion, and a group of heavenly musicians on another snow lion in the lower right.

  • Thumbnail for Tsongkhapa on a tiger (Thangka)
    Tsongkhapa on a tiger (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 49-1/2 (L) x 29 (W) inches. Je Tsongkhapa, c. 1357-1419 is revered as a manifestation of Manjushri, the god of wisdom, founder of the Galugpa or Yellow Hat sect, and a proponent of the Kadampa school of Buddhism. The tiger is sometimes shown as his vahana (vehicle), indicatin gTsongkhapa's ability to control the tiger-like bodily senses. he holds a skull in his left hand and a flaming sword in his right. At the top left is the 3rd Panchen Lama (Yontenod Palden Yoshe) and at the right is the philosopher-sage Nagarjuna. along the bottom, left to right, are Jedung Lozang Palden, Mahakala and Asanga.

  • Thumbnail for Samsara (Wheel of rebirth) (Thangka)
    Samsara (Wheel of rebirth) (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 64 (L) x 39 (W) inches. This is a common Tibetan theme that represents a dynamic vision of karma and the cycles of rebirth in various forms, both coarse and subtle, earthly, heavenly and hellish. All are driven by the beastly desires symbolized by the snake, bird and pig located at the center of the wheel. The twelve causes of rebirth are shown on the rim while the six conditions of birth are shown inside the wheel. The wheel is held in the grasp of Yama, the lord of death. The message here is that the teachings of the Buddha offer a path to escape from this world of endless change and suffering.

  • Thumbnail for Padmarupa (Thangka)
    Padmarupa (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 50-1/2 (L) x 30-1/2 (W). Padmarupa wears a five -skull crown and holds a conch in his left hand and a drum in his right. Above him are Paden chogyo, Chok Lang, Marme Dzay, Chokyi Drakpa and Yonten O. In front are Yawa Huti, and ascetic and the scholar Gaya Bhara. In the lower foreground are Mahakala, a monk and Lhamo. Painted in Central Tibetan style.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha (Thangka)
    Amitabha (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 64 (L) x 34-1/2 (W) inches. Amitabha is depicted here at the center of his paradise flanked by Avalokiteshwara and Padmasambhava. Below are eight bodhisattavas, musicians, a devotee and two monks on lotuses. Painted in the Central Tibetan style.

  • Thumbnail for Wheel of Dharma
    Wheel of Dharma by Unknown

    Ink and colored pencil on paper, 23 (L) x 18 (W) inches. Here the 8-spoked wheel of Dharma rests on an unfolding lotus. This is rendered with some skill by an artist with prior training.