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  • 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: Boatwoman with fish
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: Boatwoman with fish

    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 Rite of the Great Compassion Repentance, with Notation
    Rite of the Great Compassion Repentance, with Notation

    Woodblock print, accordion-folded book; ink on paper. The ritual text of the Dabei chanyi hejie is itself is a pared down version of longer eleventh century manual for the great compassion repentance (titled, Qianshouyan dabei xinzhou xingfa, or "Rite [for Recitation] of the Dharani of Great Compassion of Thousand Armed and Eyed [Guanyin]," which can be found in Taisho daizokyo, vol. 46, T no. 1950). The original 11th century manual was authored by Siming Zhili (960-1038), one of the most influential Tiantai masters of the Northern Song period. The rite of the "great compassion repentance" has been enormously popular among Chinese Buddhists throughout the later imperial period (and not just Tiantai circles), with Zhili's manual serving as the principal guide to its performance. (Actually, this is also the origin of the Soto-shu's Kannon senbo, which comes out of Song China and is based on Zhili's text). Precisely when the shortened version of the rite -- i.e., the abridged rite reflected in the Dabei chanyi hejie -- actually took shape is not entirely clear, but it appears to have been used widely in the late Ming and Qing Dynasties, if not earlier. A number of printings of the Dabei chanyi hejie were apparently done in the 19th century (above information courtesy of Prof. Daniel Stevenson, University of Kansas, a specialist in Chinese Buddhism).

  • Thumbnail for Chinese Lady's Changfu (third level informal court attire) robe with designs of flowers, bats, waves, butterflies, and clouds (edging detail)
    Chinese Lady's Changfu (third level informal court attire) robe with designs of flowers, bats, waves, butterflies, and clouds (edging 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 Ladder
    Ladder by Kim Lim (1936-1997)

    Intaglio print on paper. British sculptor and printmaker of Chinese birth. She grew up in Singapore and at the age of 18 decided to go to London to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art (1954–6) where she took a particular interest in wood-carving; she then transferred to the Slade School of Art, where she concentrated on printmaking, graduating in 1960. Whilst at college she often travelled through Asia and Europe en route back to Singapore, with Indian and South-East Asian sculpture and spirituality making a great impact on her work. While Lim always acknowledged a debt to the work of Constantin Brancusi in her simplification and abstraction of forms, it is in her concern for the specific qualties of materials, as in her use of charred wood to create contrast, that the influence of Eastern spirituality and concepts of balance can be seen. In 1960 she married the painter and sculptor William Turnbull, settling in London but continuing to travel widely. In the 1960s and 1970s her sculptures were mainly carved from wood, using forms inspired by basic rhythmic forms and structures, with each element forming a balanced whole. Her prints from this time also explore these modulations, as in the etchings Set of Eight (1975; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 24 and 28), which consist of simple patterns of blocks and lines.

  • Thumbnail for Mura - 'Village'  - figures working 1
    Mura - 'Village' - figures working 1 by Inagaki Nenjir? (1902-1963)

    Portfolio of 20 woodblock prints; ink and light colors on paper. Born Kyoto. Alt. name: Inagaki Nenjiro. Graduated in 1922 Kyoto City School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Became a designer of stencil patterns for fine kimonos. Exhibited in craft divisions of Bunten and Kokugakai from 1941. Held several positions at Kyoto City College of Fine Arts. His work as a stencil-dyed fabric designer was designated an Intangible Cultural Property in 1962. In the 1950s he designed multicolor hanga which have the stylized quality of his textile designs but were printed from single woodblocks at Mikumo Mokuhansha in Kyoto. This company had been founded by Ishihara Tadao in January 1942. It still exists today. The prints in the OWU collection are characteristic of Inagaki's works of the 1950s that resemble his textile designs.

  • Thumbnail for Page from an unidentified book showing a Heian era court lady and child on a veranda
    Page from an unidentified book showing a Heian era court lady and child on a veranda

    Double page woodblock printed book illustration; ink and colors on paper. This book illustrates an unidentified courtly tale of the Heian era, possibly the Tale of Genji, in a conservative, Tosa-school style. It makes an interesting contrast to the illustration of the Tale of Genji, in a more contemporary Ukiyo-e style with bolder colors, by Utagawa Kunisada.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese woman's coat - back
    Chinese woman's coat - back

    Yellow ground figured satin with design of butterflies, flowers, and auspicious objects, and satin stitch silk thread and couched gold thread embroidery with designs of flowers and butterflies. Sleeves have embroidery on green ground silk; center panel and border panel of blue ground silk. Length: 91 cm

  • Thumbnail for Clock Tower on Street Corner of Washington D.C.
    Clock Tower on Street Corner of Washington D.C. by Hiratsuka Un'ichi (1895-1997)

    Woodblock print; ink on paper, framed under glass. Hiratsuka, one of the preeminent figures in the sosaku hanga movement, was born in Matsue, Honshû. In 1913 he met the artist Ishii Hakutei (1882-1958), a western-style painter and printmaker who had published the first sosaku hanga print (Yamamoto Kanae's "Fisherman") in the magazine Myôjô in 1904. Ishii admired Hiratsuka's painting, and in 1915 the younger artist moved to Tokyo to continue his study with Ishii, who urged him to learn block carving and printing. He did so for about six months with Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933), becoming the best-trained block carver in the sosaku hanga movement. Hiratsuka exhibited his first prints in 1916 at an exhibition of the independent Nika-kai ("Second Division Society"), and by the 1920s his reputation in the world of printmaking was considerable. It is likely that Hiratsuka had some influence upon nearly every important sosaku hanga artist. He taught sessions on woodblock printing in various parts of Japan, inspiring, among many students, the great Munakata Shiko, who learned to use the v-shaped chisel from Hiratsuka when they first met in 1928. Between 1935 and 1944 Hiratsuka taught the first blockprinting course at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (Kitaoka Fumio and Hashimoto Oike were among his students). In 1948 he established his own school in Tokyo. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1962, but ultimately returned to Japan in 1994. Hiratsuka was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 1970, and in 1991, the Hiratsuka Un'ichi Print Museum was opened in Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture.

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - front right side
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - front right side

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.)

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - back view
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - back view

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.)

  • Thumbnail for Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto"- detail of left side
    Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto"- detail of left side

    Detail of left side of screens done in paper on a wood frame. Right screen of an original pair of 6-fold screens; 67" H. x 142" W. (6 panels) The type originated in the Momoyama period, when they were presented to visiting warlords, to take home as a memento of their visit to Kyoto. This particular example is relatively late for the type, but a good example. The iconography for this particular type of screen pairs is set, and this example follows the program for the right hand screen of the original pair, depicting the colorful floats of the Gion Matsuri (Kyoto’s “signature†festival) in LR, and various Kyoto landmarks, like the Kiyomizudera (a temple with a veranda supported on high pilings) in the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto" - detail from left side
    Rakuchu Rakugai - "In and Around the City of Kyoto" - detail from left side

    Detail of scene from right screen of an original pair of 6-fold screens; 67" H. x 142" W. (6 panels)The type originated in the Momoyama period, when they were presented to visiting warlords, to take home as a memento of their visit to Kyoto. This particular example is relatively late for the type, but a good example. The iconography for this particular type of screen pairs is set, and this example follows the program for the right hand screen of the original pair, depicting the colorful floats of the Gion Matsuri (Kyoto’s “signature†festival) in LR, and various Kyoto landmarks, like the Kiyomizudera (a temple with a veranda supported on high pilings) in the upper right.

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.)

  • Thumbnail for Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 1)
    Kashmiri Illustrated manuscript about Vishnu (and his Krishna incarnation) (text 1)

    Book manuscript; ink, colors, and gold on paper. Ohio State University Professor Susan Huntington notes that this is probably a 19th century piece. She notes that it is actually a very nice example with later paintings and manuscripts just now gaining favor compared with the older materials.

  • Thumbnail for Korean amulets and chatelaines (6)
    Korean amulets and chatelaines (6)

    These are interesting pedagogically in discussions of Asian shamanism but need further study.

  • Thumbnail for Korean amulets and chatelaines (2)
    Korean amulets and chatelaines (2)

    These are interesting pedagogically in discussions of Asian shamanism but need further study.

  • Thumbnail for Ocean view with Mt. Fuji
    Ocean view with Mt. Fuji by Shirasuka Hiroshige

    9" x 14". Hills and trees in foreground. Modern copy.

  • Thumbnail for Tanegashima Rifle - detail of muzzle end
    Tanegashima Rifle - detail of muzzle end

    Flint and safety pin lacking, but otherwise in excellent condition. So, too, is the lacquered, fitted case, with its identifying mon, or crest of the daimyo clan for whom it was made. The firearm refers to one of the most interesting periods of Japanese history, and can be dated to a fairly precise time period, because such weapons did not exist in Japan before they were introduced by the Portuguese in 1543. The Portuguese had been blown off course in a storm and made landfall at Tanegashima, a small island off the coast of Kyushu (hence the name "Tanegashima" Rifle). This weapon is much more rare than a samurai sword because the time when it was in use was of such short duration. Use of such guns was banned early in the Edo period. This rifle is heavy! Metal fittings with lion on butt end. On lower surface of the rifle, metal fittings, as in sword furniture, with cloud pattern near the end (cf. smoke from firing). Halfway down is a flaming jewel. Back near the trigger, a 3-clawed dragon form in the clouds. Behind the dragon is a character on a round metal insert; then the trigger; on the bottom of the butt, another character. On the sides of the shoulder piece is further decoration (left side, cherry blossoms; right side, kara-shishi [Chinese lion-dog), and on upper surface is peony, often associated with the lion-dog in Japanese decorative arts. Above the trigger is a samurai helmet; on the metal assembly is another character, prob. the maker's symbol. Lacquered case is shaped to fit the rifle, and bears the mon of a five-petaled flower with circular petals, possibly a plum, within a circle.

  • Thumbnail for Shuji version of the Diamond Mandala
    Shuji version of the Diamond Mandala

    16.25 x 14.25 inches. The Womb Mandala (J.: Taizokai Mandara) is the static principle of the cosmos; the matrix of all things, i.e., the material world of physical phenomena, with Dainichi Nyorai, the Cosmic Universal Buddha in the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism occupying the center. In the shuji version of this mandara, Sanskrit characters substitute for the images of Buddhas and other Buddhist deities normally seen on the mandara form. As a pair, this painting is coupled with the Diamond World Mandala [J: Kongokai Mandara] and are the "seed character" (shuji) versions of the Ryokai Mandara, or Mandalas of the Two Worlds. These pairs of mandara are devotional aids in the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan, emphasizing the phenomenal and the transcendant sides of the Cosmic, Universal Buddha Dainichi Nyorai. The pair of mandalas would be hung in a Shingon temple to provide focal points for contemplation and ritual religious practice, and could also have been used in initiation ceremonies for new initiates into the disciplines of Shingon. The small scale of this shuji pair suggests private devotional usage. These are later examples of a significant type, and the two should always be displayed together, as they would have been hung together in the temple. Silk brocade mount is later; wood frame.

  • Thumbnail for Small plate - detail of top design
    Small plate - detail of top design

    Stoneware, Dia. 5 3/8". Chinese ceramics are far better understood than Southeast Asian wares because careful excavations and the imperial records of the kilns of Jingdezhen, which began producing ceramics in the Tang dynasty, have provided a clearer chronology of Chinese wares. Although the ceramics of the imperial kilns differ from wares made specifically for export, the stylistic development of the two types share enough traits so that the one informs the other. The Chinese wares produced with underglaze blue range from folkish kitchen ware to sophisticated imperial porcelains. Variations in color from grey to a vivid blue depend on the source of the cobalt. Local Chinese cobalt, discovered in the fifteenth century, has a high content of manganese, which causes the blue to tend toward a pale grey, while the high iron and low manganese content of the imported Middle Eastern cobalt creates an intense blue. Yuan (fourteenth century) blue-and-white wares have been discovered in insular Southeast Asia, but it was during the Ming dynasty that the quantity of blue-and-white exports increased greatly. These small plates are glazed in underglaze blue that is painted freely in plant-like motif. The base is glazed and has an underglaze blue marking that may indicate the potter. Chinese wares can be distinguished from Thai by the clay body, and by the fact glaze is often painted on the base and over the footring.

  • Thumbnail for Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face
    Ivory Figure with a Spinning Face

    Noh performer with long hair holds bells for Shinto Dance in his raised arm. The figure's head spins up from a calm face to that of a demon like face; figure's garment has a geometric/floral motif; he holds a fan in his left had and wears a cap on his head; his hair is tied back with a bow which is broken on one side.

  • Thumbnail for Handscroll: Treatise on Samurai Armor - section five
    Handscroll: Treatise on Samurai Armor - section five

    Watercolor on paper with gold border on top and bottom of scroll, depicting drawing of parts of samurai's armor including helmet.

  • Thumbnail for Jarlet
    Jarlet

    From Sawankhalok. Stoneware, H: 4" x Dia. 2". Small covered boxes and jarlets were exported in huge quantities from the Thai export kilns of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to island Southeast Asia; their uses can only be imagined possibly for spices, unguents, cosmetics, or some other precious commodity. We do know that they were used in burials, possibly taking the place of larger, more valued ceramics. Since glazed wares were not produced in island Southeast Asia, these objects formed an important part of the import market. Two lugs at the shoulders allow a cover to be tied over the top and also allow for suspension of the jarlet off the ground, away from insects and rodents. Indentations in the body of the jarlet gives it a melon shape. The base is finished and the pale celadon is slightly crackled. Jarlets of this type were also produced by the Chinese, but the Thai jarlets generally are more finely finished with a carefully carved-recessed base. Excavations of burials in the Philippines revealed a ceremonial placement of imported vessels around the body Thai jarlets were placed around the head, Chinese plates were inverted over the pubic area, saucers were placed beneath the hands, and local wares were arranged away from the body. What this arrangement meant will never be known, but it does suggest that a specific symbolic significance was assigned to the various vessels.

  • Thumbnail for Jarlet - bottom view
    Jarlet - bottom view

    From Sawankhalok. Stoneware, 1998.5.9, height 4" x dia.2". By the time the Sawankhalok district kilns stopped production, at least 500 kilns had been built into the banks of the Menam Yom (river), at Tukatha, Ban Pa Yang, and Ban Koh Noi all sited across the river from the ancient capital of Si Satchanalai. Potters working at Ban Koh Noi produced glazed ceramics for local use (called Mon ware by the local peoples) by the thirteenth or fourteenth century and exported goods from all of the sites by the end of the fourteenth century. Numerous jarlets of this type were produced at the various kilns at Si Satchanalai in central Thailand. The glaze is a brown iron glaze and the body typical of Si Satchanalai wares, a buff color with dark impurities. Jarlets of this type were also produced by the Chinese, but the Thai jarlets generally are more finely finished with a carefully carved-recessed base. Excavations of burials in the Philippines revealed a ceremonial placement of imported vessels around the body Thai jarlets were placed around the head, Chinese plates were inverted over the pubic area, saucers were placed beneath the hands, and local wares were arranged away from the body. What this arrangement meant will never be known, but it does suggest that a specific symbolic significance was assigned to the various vessels.