Kunisada: Beauties Preparing for Pilgrimage to Mitsumine Shrine
Artist: Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864)
Title: Group of Pilgrims Going to the Mitsumine Shrine for a Special Viewing 三峰山御開扉参詣群集之図
Date: ca. 1844 (1843-47)
Group of Pilgrims Going to the Mitsumine Shrine for a Special Viewing 三峰山御開扉参詣群集之図 (Mitsuminesan gokaichô sankei gunshû no zu). Three beauties prepare for a trip to the Mitsumine Shrine, which is pictured in the landscape behind them, separated by a time/space cloud divider device. The shrine precincts are mountainous and heavily wooded with dark, upright conifers. In the foreground we see three beautifully-attired beauties. The woman on the left adjusts a furoshiki-wrapped parcel atop a woven carrying basket. She wears a purple outer robe decorated with Genji symbols. The beauty in the middle adjusts her belt, and looks towards the woman at right, who kneels and adjusts her traveling hat. Two more traveling hats are seen in the middle sheet. The baskets will of course be carried by a porter, who at this point in the trip has not arrived on the scene. Mitsumine Shrine is located in Chichibu, Saitama province, at an elevation of 1100 meters. It is dedicated in part to the Japanese mountain wolves, a species now extinct, whose spirits were considered protective in the Edo Period. At the time of this print, a trip to this shrine from Edo was an arduous undertaking that took several days on dangerous mountain paths.Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban triptych (37.2 x 76.2 cm)
Signature: Kochoro Toyokuni ga and Ichiyousai Toyokuni ga (center sheet)
Literature: See the MFA website.