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Itsukushima

Japanese Color Woodblock Print 

Itsukushima

by Ogyū Tensen, undated


IHL Cat. #1962

About This Print

The artist's rendering of Itsukushima on Miyajima with Gojunoto (the Five-storied Pagoda) in the background and the famous Sika deer in the foreground. It is unknown whether Ogyū designed this print or if it is a reproduction of an existing drawing. Neither a date or publisher is shown on the print. The below drawing of Itsukushima was done by Ogyū in 1930.

Miyajaima by Ogyū Tensen, 1930
drawing on paper 
27.5 x 39.2 cm
Source: Nihonmatsu City Board of Education Museum Collections 011

Miyajima and Itsukushima

Source: extracted from the Miyajima Official Tourism website http://visit-miyajima-japan.com/en/culture-and-heritage/spiritual-heritage-temples-shrines/sanctuaire-itsukushima.html

Miyajima Island, one of the most scenic spots in Japan, has long been regarded as an Island of Gods on the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. It is a romantic and historical island where Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site, is located, along with the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen, and numerous preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments.

Itsukushima shrine has more than 1400 years of history, and is a registered World Heritage Site. The vermillion lacquered shrine fits well with the Prussian blue sea, and the green of the virgin forest, recreating the elegance of the Heian era.

From ancient times, people have sensed the spiritual sanctity of Miyajima, and have revered and worshipped the island itself as goddesses. The main shrine is said to have been constructed in 593 by Saeki Kuramoto.

Since the shrine is built in the sea, the foundation posts are submerged in the water and decay rather easily. Furthermore, the shrine becomes weathered and is sometimes battered by the sea breezes and typhoons. Although constant and comprehensive maintenance is required due to these natural factors, nearly 800 years have passed since Itsukushima Shrine was first built, and we are fortunate to be able to see the same shrine as the Heian Court did.

Designated as a Specially Preserved Building on April 7, 1900.  The Five-storied Pagoda was originally constructed in 1407, and it was restored in 1533. The main deity enshrined here is the Buddha of Medicine, accompanied by the Buddhist saints Fugen and Monju.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1962
 Title  Itsukushima 伊都岐島
 [as titled by Nihonmatsu City Board of Education Museum Collections]
 Artist 
 Ogyū Tensen (1882-1947)
 Signature 
天泉 Tensen [followed by unread character]
 Seal
unread artist's seal (see above)
 Publication Date  not dated
 Publisher  unknown
 Printer  unknown
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - tipped to original folder with original label
 Genre  sosaku-hanga (creative print)
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  shikishiban
 H x W Paper  10 x 12 in. (25.4 x 30.5 cm)
 H x W Image  9 9/16 x 10 3/4 in. (24.3 x 27.3 cm)
 Collections This Print  Nihonmatsu City Board of Education Museum Collections 003
 Reference Literature  
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