Posted by Woody (22.214.171.124) on January 26, 2017 at 12:52:05:
In Reply to: Re: identification posted by Andrew on January 22, 2017 at 16:39:25:
Andrew's information is right on. I just wanted to add that this is a ritualistic subject, as Tenjin (Michizane deified) was an object of reverence and prayer. Therefore, images of him were typically formulaic and standardized, without a huge amount of variation. This isn't to say that ukiyo-e artists didn't copy one another, as they certainly did, but Kuniyoshi's image also is just one in a stream of similar 'Michizane reading while riding an ox' images that go back to the eighteenth century. Wild creativity in a ritualistic image would distract from its purpose--which required it to be an immediately recognizable, standard image of the deity.
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