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Wood, with traces of polychromy
Overall: 53.3 x 47 cm (21 x 18 1/2 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1978.3.2
Traces of pigment on the surface of this sculpture indicate it was once painted.
This sculpture represents a kami, the name for deities associated with the Japanese religious tradition called Shinto. It is said to have originally been created for the Usa Hachiman Shrine in Oita on the island of Kyushu. The shrine houses four main kami: Hime Okami, who assists those engaged in agriculture andsea travel; the legendary 5th-century emperor Ojin deified as the kami Hachiman; Empress Jingu; and the kami of Mount Kawara, who aids copper miners. The pose of this figure, dressed in robes reminiscent of a Tang dynasty court lady, suggests that she may have been an attending deity.
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