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Color woodblock print
Scabbard: 18.8 x 20.7 cm (7 3/8 x 8 1/8 in.)
Bequest of James Parmelee 1940.990.1
These elegant surimono prints come from a set of five images
inspired by the legend of the Shinto Supreme Sun Goddess,
Amaterasu. She was once so offended by her brother that she
retreated into a cave, leaving the earth in darkness. Several
attempts to lure her out with cocks crowing, music-making,
and a goddess dancing failed, but a mirror hung from a nearby
tree made Amaterasu curious, bringing her to the entrance
of the cave. A stone was quickly placed at the entrance to
block her way back into the cave, and light was restored
to the world. Each print is set against a blue evening sky with
embossed clouds enriched with gold, silver, and copper.
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