Utagawa Hiroshige: Dusk at Numazu - Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige

Title: Dusk at Numazu

Date: c. 1833

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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
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This print illustrates travelers approaching the town of Numasu, near Mt. Fuji, just as the full moon rises on the horizon. One of the travelers is a pilgrim journeying to (or returning from) Kompira Shrine on Shikoku Island. The shrine is dedicated to the deity Omono-nushi-no-Mikoto, a patron saint of seafarers. The shrine is located high atop Mt. Kotohira, and hence was a popular destination of yamabushi, wandering priests who venerate mountains. In the popular imagination, yamabushi became associated with tengu, mythical birdlike creatures that live deep in mountain forests. Hence, this print shows a pilgrim dressed in white carrying a portable shrine on his back that has been adorned with a tengu mask, believed to offer talismanic protection.

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