Deities perform music to tempt the sun goddess

    SKU: brimus618

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    About

    A woodblock print titled 'Deities Perform Music to Tempt the Sun Goddess' by the artist Utagawa Hiroshige, dated to 1847-51. The original artwork is on display in the Museum exhibition, Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art. It illustrates a key story from Japanese folklore: the moment the sun goddess returned light to the world. The story goes that the sun goddess, Amaterasu, (who was the main goddess of the native religion called kamu) was angered by the behaviour of her younger brother Susano'o so she locked herself in a cave. Eight million deities came together to decide how to lure her back out. Nothing worked until one of these deities, a female called Ama-no-uzume, performed a lewd dance in front of the cave baring her breasts and genitals (though in this historical print she is more modestly dressed). On seeing this the other deities burst out laughing encouraging the sun goddess to peak out from the cave and restore light to the world. The print is a key example of how sex and humour have been at the heart of Japanese identity from its earliest origins.

    Specification

    Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige

    Paper prints are framed with high grade Perspex (Plexiglas).

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