A Meiji Era Hand Painted Shrine Banner: Dated June 1899

$396.00 USD

**reduced from $495.00**
Dated Meiji 32 or 1899
160" x 43", 406 cm x 109 cm

*Please note that on the lead image of the entire piece the distortion is due to hanging it vertically and trailing it from wall to floor in order to photograph the entire piece at once. In reality the banner, when hung, will not be "bowed" as it appears on the lead photo.

This is a hand painted cotton banner dated Meiji 32 or 1899.

It was hung in front of a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god, Inari, a popular god who symbolizes prosperity and material success and is the god of fertility, agriculture, rice cultivation, and sake, among others. Inari is known for his magically powerful messengers, kitsune, or foxes.

Scattered almost free-form on the surface of this banner we see symbols related to Inari. Their placement and their crudeness of depiction adds a mystical air to this banner as these images appeal to the eye as would magic symbols.

The squared forms are the keys held by kitsune or the foxes. The Buddhist flaming pearl is shown in the center position and on the right-hand position and its inclusion shows the enduring interest in religious syncretism in Japan, a practice of one religion adopting the ways, beliefs or iconography of another and giving it a new meaning in a new context.

The banner is hand stitched and time and exposure to the elements are clearly visible in the form of ingrained dirt, holes, and tears, most of them shown here.

This large and long Shinto banner conveys a mystical feeling due to the symbols, their rustic rendering and their bold, un-composed placement on the surface of the cloth.

Really wonderful. 

A Meiji Era Hand Painted Shrine Banner: Dated June 1899