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Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene from the series New Views of Kyoto

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene

from the series New Views of Kyoto

by Kamei Tōbei, c. mid-1950s

Takao Autumn Scenery from the series New Views of Kyoto

IHL Cat. #803

About This Print

A postcard-size print (approx. 5 x 6.5 in.) with a view of Chion-In Temple's Black Gate (Kuromon).

A fenced enclosure is seen in the lower left of the print.  It is protecting the "squash stone" (uryseki).  The stone, which has a very low profile to the ground, was there before the temple was built and is connected to two legends.  One is that gourds sprang from this stone, even though no one planted any seeds, and the other is that the god of Yasaka Shrine paid two visits to this stone and on the night after the second visit many gourds sprang from the stone.1

While the print is undated, the attribution to Kamei Genbei, Genbei being a name used by Kamei after 1953, suggests a mid-1950s or later publishing.  This print is almost certainly from the series New Views of Kyoto as are nine other prints in the collection.

1 Website of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies "Learning About Kyoto" http://www.kyopro.kufs.ac.jp/dp/dp01.nsf/ecfa8fdd6a53a7fc4925700e00303ed8/d554aa921fbd4fec49256f9000214d80!OpenDocument


Kuromon (The Black Gate).
The fenced enclosure for the "squash stone" can be seen in the foreground.


Chion-In Temple

Source: wikipedia
Chion-in (知恩院) in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan is the headquarters of the Jōdo-shū (Pure Land Sect) founded by Hōnen (1133–1212), who proclaimed that sentient beings are reborn in Amida Buddha's Western Paradise (Pure Land) by reciting the nembutsu, Amida Buddha's name.

The vast compounds of Chion-in include the site where Hōnen settled to disseminate his teachings and the site where he died.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #803
 Title  Chion-In Temple Black Gate Spring Scene — 智恩院黒門 春景
 Series  New Views of Kyoto 新京都名所
 Artist
 Kamei Tōbei  (1901-1977)
 Signature
 not signed
 Seal
artist's unread seal
 Date  c. mid-1950s
 Edition  unknown
 Publisher  unknown
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  good - minor foxing
 Genre  sosaku hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  yotsugiri
 H x W Paper  5 x 6 5/8 in. (12.7 x 16.8 cm)
 Collections This Print  
 Reference Literature

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