Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891)  INRŌ WITH THE ONI-YARAI RITE  鬼遣図木地蒔絵印籠 Meiji era (1868–1912), circa 1870–1890

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Lot 4*
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891) INRŌ WITH THE ONI-YARAI RITE 鬼遣図木地蒔絵印籠
Meiji era (1868–1912), circa 1870–1890

Sold for £ 10,625 (US$ 13,429) inc. premium
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891) INRŌ WITH THE ONI-YARAI RITE 鬼遣図木地蒔絵印籠
Meiji era (1868–1912), circa 1870–1890
An inrō with three interlocking cases and cover, of standard lenticular cross-section with straight sides, rounded corners, very slightly curved top and base, and applied cord-runners, the body cut from a solid block of sugi (Japanese cypress, Cryptomeria japonica), painted in mineral pigments and gold with an oni holding the large Chinese-style hat normally worn by Shōki the Demon-Queller to protect himself as he flees from peas thrown at him during the custom of oni-yarai (see below), his trailing scarf continuing on the reverse, the interior fittings also of sugi; wood ojime in the form of two masks; wood netsuke in the form of one large and six smaller masks

Signed in black lacquer at the right-hand side of the reverse Zeshin 是真, with a red seal

Inrō: 8.9 × 5.4 × 2.2 cm (3½ × 2 1/8 × 7/8 in.)
Netsuke: 4.8 × 4.2 × 1.9 cm (1 7/8 × 1 5/8 × ½ in.)

Fitted wooden storage box (2)

Provenance
Raymond Bushell Collection, purchased at Sotheby's London, 18 June 1997, lot no. 100A

Published
Bushell 1979, pp. 136–7, no. 99

Footnotes

  • Zeshin often depicted this and other oni-related subjects in painting as well as maki-e, making it particularly appropriate for him to choose standard painting pigments—bound with nikawa (animal or fish glue)—in place of lacquer for the decoration of this inrō. The presence of the oni's mythical nemesis, Shōki the Demon-Queller, is implied by the inclusion of Shōki's outsize Chinese-style hat. As described shortly after Zeshin's death by Greek-Irish journalist Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904), during the oni-yarai rite 'the Yaku otoshi, or caster-out of devils, wanders through the streets from house to house, rattling his shakujo and uttering his strange professional cry: "Oni wa soto!—fuku wa uchi!" (Devils out!—Good fortune in!) . . . Afterwards dried peas (shiro-mame) are thrown about the house in four directions. For some mysterious reason, devils do not like dried peas—and flee therefrom' (Hearn 1910, pp. 295–6).

    For another inrō by Zeshin decorated on a plain wood ground but in urushi-e rather than painting pigments, see Gōke 1981, pl. nos. 80–81.
Contacts
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891)  INRŌ WITH THE ONI-YARAI RITE  鬼遣図木地蒔絵印籠 Meiji era (1868–1912), circa 1870–1890
Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891)  INRŌ WITH THE ONI-YARAI RITE  鬼遣図木地蒔絵印籠 Meiji era (1868–1912), circa 1870–1890
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