Japanese Maps : Ōmi hakkei no zu - Ōmi no kuni mukadeyama nerai

Japanese Maps

<p style='text-align: justify;'> The item is composed by two different wood-block prints, attached to one another, both in Japanese. The one on the left, titled "Ōmi hakkei no zu" (title on the upper section of the print) and lacking a colophon, is a set of eight views of Ōmi province: Ishiyama shūgetsu 石山秋月 (Autumn moon at Ishiyama); Seta sekishō 勢多夕照 (Sunset at Seta); Awazu Seiran 粟津晴嵐 (Clearing storm at Awazu); Yabase kihan 矢橋帰帆 (Sails returning at Yabase); Mii banshō 三井晩鐘 (Vesper Bell at Mii Temple); Karasaki yau 唐崎夜雨 (Night Rain at Karasaki); Katata rakugan 堅田落雁 (Descending Geese at Katata); Hira Bosetsu 比良暮雪 (Evening Snow at Mount Hira).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Sets of eight views were very popular in Tokugawa or Edo Japan (1603-1868), as a form of educated, literary reading of the landscape. “Eight views” was a famous theme in Chinese poetry and art, adopted in Japan around the 14th century and associated to so-called "utamakura" (places made famous by poetry, and usually linked, through poetry, to a particular season and/or a particular natural motif). Ōmi was one of the locations commonly associated to this theme.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The second print, on the right, titled "Ōmi no kuni mukadeyama yūrai" (title reported in the right section) illustrates a local legend of Ōmi, made popular by the prose genre known as "otogizōshi": the story of Fujiwara no Hidesato, a hero who killed a giant centipede at the request of the dragon-serpent Ryūgū-jō (who ruled over Ōmi), and, as a reward, was entertained at the dragon’s palace and received compensation in the form of an inexhaustible bag of rice, from which he gained the nickname Tawara Tōda (Lord Bag of Rice). After the text on the left, a colophon reports the place of publication (Shiga district, Ōmi province) and publisher (Tanakaya Sōshichi). No date is reported on either prints. Kornicki (1993) dates both to the first half of the 19th century. </p>

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