Otsu-E, Pictures from Otsu


Otsu Paintings 大津絵 of Fudo Myo-O

My Main Story is here:

. Pictures from Yamashina and Otsu
山科絵  /  大津絵


They have survived until today and we find these motives on postcards or ceramics of all kinds.

The most common topics are
Demons 鬼、Buddhist Deities 仏画、beautiful ladies 美人画、famous warriors 武者絵 and others. Just click on any. The above picture is curtesy to this gallery.

On this LINK
you find the most common topics of Otsu paintings, the little Demon saying his prayers in the cold (oni no kan nenbutsu) is probably the most famous one.

The name otsu-e is derived from the place where these paintings were sold, in and around the post town of Otsu, which lay on the Tokaido Road running between Edo (present day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Stands were set along the road to sell these paintings as souvenirs to passing travelers. Created by anonymous artists, the paintings were sold in great numbers for little money.

Some of the first otsu-e were created during the Kanei Era (1624-44) following the early Edo persecution of Japanese Christians. The artwork provided an inexpensive source of Buddhist art that could be displayed in the homes of commoners who feared retribution from the authorities, and needed proof of their devotion to Japanese religious beliefs.

By the end of the Genroku Era (1688-1704), otsu-e had become so popular that their themes were expanded to include depictions of secular subjects, such as beautiful women, courtesans, heroes, animals and mythical goblins.

The paintinge also demonstrates the exceedingly simple artistic techniques used to depict the subjects of otsu-e. Usually drawn on plain brown paper, the paintings utilize a limited number of mineral pigments, typically including the colors blue, red, green, yellow and white. The first stage in creating the paintings was to make an outline in black, which was then filled in with colors in simple brushwork.
source : www.mingeikan.or.jp


Daruma made from Coins, as a catfish
namazu Daruma 鯰だるま

. Namazu なまず/ 鯰 catfish in legends and toys .


Daruma as a lady behind priest Ikkyu in the pleasure quarters
達磨と遊女 or
一休禅師と地獄太夫 Jigoku Tayuu

a special Otsu-E made with ink only

. Daruma and his earrings .


source : blog.otsue.com
Basho looking at the Otsu-e paintings. by Matsuyama 4th.

Ootsu e no fude no hajime wa nani botoke

the first brush stroke
for an Otsu-E painting -
which Buddha will it be ?

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

. fude hajime 筆始 first use of the brush .
humanity kigo for the New Year

source : katuradakaizan

. Benkei with a halberd 長刀弁慶 - ema 絵馬 votive tablet .


CLICK for more Otsu-e

Ootsu-e ni fun otoshi-yuku tsubame kana

a swallow leaves
its droppings on this
Otsu painting !

Buson 蕪村 1778

Comment by Robin D. Gill:
Good paintings were only shown briefly -- a day a week a month? --
in the tokonoma then rolled back up, but tsubame nested in hallways and i imagine a cheap otsue was stuck on a wall maybe in a genkan left cracked open for the tsubame, so it could get pooped up as have been art in my places of residence by geckoes --
as usual an environment with some nostalgic pull is being created here by buson.
source : Buson Study Group - facebook

. Bird droppings (fun) and haiku  



. Matsumoto matsuri 松本祭 (まつもとまつり)
Matsumoto festival

at the shrine Hirano Jinja in Otsu
平野神社 大津
May 5

. Otsu Matsuri 大津祭 Otsu Festival

kigo for autumn


Kusatsu-juku (草津宿)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

was the fifty-second of the fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō as well as the sixty-eighth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō. It is located in the downtown area of the present-day city of Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

Coming from Moriyama-juku, the borders of Kusatsu-juku started at the banks of the Kusatsu River to the present-day Miya-chō in Kusatsu. The famed ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige traveled through the post station using both the Tōkaidō and the Nakasendō in order to create woodblock prints.

In 1843, the post station had 2,351 residents and 586 buildings. Among the buildings, there were two honjin, two sub-honjin, and 72 hatago. Of the two honjin, one was constructed in 1635 and stood until 1870.That honjin was later repaired and opened as a museum in 1996.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. The 53 stations of the Tokaido Road .


. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .
Shiga Prefecture




Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

On the Road to Kusazu

Gabi Greve said...

Fuji Musume 藤娘人形 Fuji Musume Dolls

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

十三仏図大津絵, Ōtsu-e of
Thirteen Buddhist Deities
Jusanbutsu 十三仏

Gabi Greve said...

Monkeys, Catfish, and Demons in Priest’s Clothing: The Buddhist Roots and Themes of Japanese “Otsu-e” Folk Painting, article by Meher McArthur

Meher McArthur is the author of a book on this subject, Gods and Goblins: Japanese Folk Paintings from Otsu (Pacific Asia Museum, 2000).

In Japan during the Edo period (1600–1868), many people traveled on foot between the military capital, Edo (modern Tokyo), and the ancient imperial capital, Kyoto. The route connecting the two important cities was known as the Tokaido (literally the Eastern Sea Road); it was just over 300 miles long and took about two weeks to walk. Along the way were 53 government-sanctioned post stations for travelers to rest in, change horses, and buy food and souvenirs. The 53rd of these, and the last station travelers stopped at before reaching Kyoto, was the town of Otsu, located on the shores of Lake Biwa. This town was famous for acupuncture clinics offering relief for travelers’ aches and pains, abacuses (J. soroban), and inexpensive paintings, which have become known as Otsu-e, or “pictures from Otsu.” These roughly rendered paintings depicting many of the characters that could be spotted along the Tokaido were some of the most popular souvenirs collected by travelers passing through Otsu. Although most Otsu-e paintings are secular in nature, this 400-year-old folk art tradition had its roots in Buddhism and continuously featured Buddhist themes and motifs.