Posted by: softypapa | September 17, 2007

Antique Japanese Shikishi Art – Shichifukujin Nihonga

This Japanese painting (nihonga) dates from the early to mid Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and features what may be the image of a luck ship commonly associated with the group of seven luck gods called Shichifukujin. This idea is suggested in part by the presence of a large luck hammer on the deck which is an item commonly associated with the god Daikoku. The painting was done on a rectangular sheet of stiff Japanese shikishi paper with gold trim at the edges. This nihonga painting is in poor to fair condition with some marks, stains and creases and is a wonderful candidate for framing and display.

More about the Shichifukujin
In Japanese folklore the Shichifukujin are the seven gods of wealth, happiness and longevity. These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often in a boat sailing the seas of fortune. However, the individual gods actually hail from a variety of religious faiths including Buddhism and Taoism as well as Japan’s native religion of Shinto. The gods are:

Ebisu – Ebisu is Japan’s god of fisherman and the morning sun. Ebisu is also sometimes regarded as the protector of small children, a role he shares with the Buddhist deity Jizo. Ebisu is also the only member of the Shichifukujin seven who is of Japanese origin.

Daikokuten – Daikoku is the god of wealth, food and worldly success; and statues of this happy deity have for centuries been common fixtures of Japanese homes, particularly kitchens. Daikoku is also reputed to be Ebisu’s father.

Fukurokujin – Originating in Chinese Taoism this god is the symbol of wealth, happiness and longevity and is usually seen carrying a long staff or cane.

Hoteison – A plump Zen Buddhist monk from China, usually seen with a bag in one hand and a fan in the other.

Jurojin – The Taoist god of long life. This god is also usually seen carrying a staff in his hand.

Benzaiten – The only female of the bunch. This goddess is from India and is the patron of music and culture. She is usually seen carrying an old fashioned Japanese biwa (a type of lute).

Bishamonten – The warrior of the bunch. This god is originally from India and is charged with protecting people and their treasure. Bishamonten is usually depicted wearing armor.

Height: 10.5 inches (27.0 centimeters)
Width: 9.4 inches (24.0 centimeters)

item code: R3S1B1-00033
category code: nihonga
ship code: shikishihako

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