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Currently shown
Kajikawa et Shibayama, Ateliers de

Five-case Seal Caddy (inrō)

Artist

Kajikawa et Shibayama, Ateliers de
Active in Japan early 17th-late 19th c.

Title

Five-case Seal Caddy (inrō)

Date

About 1850

Materials

Maki-e lacquer on wood, ivory inlay

Dimensions

24 x 6 x 2.3 cm

Credits

Adaline Van Horne Bequest, inv. 1944.Ee.10

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The back of this inrō is decorated with a portrait of the legendary poet-archer and palace guard Minamoto no Yorimasa, while the front shows Yorimasa’s retainer, Ino Hayata Tadazumi, slaying the nue monster. According to the epic novel The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari), the nue, a bringer of misfortune and illness, prowled the imperial grounds, afflicting the health of the emperor Konoe (died 1153). One night, Yorimasa shot it down from the palace roof with his bow and arrow, whereupon Hayata slew it with his sword.

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