A Ko Ema: Tengu Protective Folk Spirits

$135.00 USD

mid twentieth century
image size: 5 3/4" x 6 3/4", 14.5 cm x 17 cm

This is a charming, hand painted wooden tablet showing depictions of tengu, a fabled Japanese supernatual folk bein whose shape shifting abilities are part of his super powers: tengu are protective deities and are an important part of Japanese folk culture. Here we see depictions of kotengu and daitengu.

This painted plaque is known as a ko ema.  

ema is a votive tablet offered by an individual to a Shinto temple either in petition for a favor or in thanks for a favor received.  

Some ema can be very large and hand painted.  They can depict battle scenes, sailing ships or other elaborate images.  Ko ema are small hand painted votives which were mass-produced by itinerant painters who would sell the goods on roads leading to, or in front of, a shrine.

A wonderful, collectible and particularly well-painted and colored ema with rustic, spirited appeal.


A Ko Ema: Tengu Protective Folk Spirits