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TANAKA School $1400.00
"An elegant hammered iron plate in mokko-gata shape with a classical raised rim. On each face are carved clouds representing the domain of both gods. The omote depicting Raijin, and the ura depicting Fujin. The workmanship displayed by the Tanaka school is shown with various inlayed metals, in high relief against the sky.

Seems to date ca. 1750-1800.

7.50cm x 8.20cm x 0.40cm (seppa)

Raijin is the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms. He is usually depicted holding hammers surrounded by drums. He often has three fingers on each hand representing the past, present and future. Raijin is amongst the most feared Japanese deities. Parents traditionally tell their children to cover their belly buttons during a storm or Raijin will eat their belly. There's also an agricultural tradition of praying to Raijin for rain and lightning. The Japanese once believed that lightning was responsible for fertilizing rice plants. A rice field that was struck by lightning was sure to enjoy a bountiful harvest." (Long)
"Fujin is the Japanese god of wind. He is depicted holding a bag of winds. Fujin usually has a messy appearance and wild hair from all the wind. He usually has four fingers on each hand - one for each direction. Japan has historically experienced large typhoons that cause great damage and loss of life. Nevertheless, Fujin also has a good side. Two wind storms devastated Mongol fleets as they tried to invade Japan in 1274 and again in 1281. This was attributed to Fujin protecting Japan. Alternatively, this act is sometimes attributed to Raijin. This is the origin ofthe term Kamikaze (literally: divine wind)." (Long)

There have been several Tanaka schools in Edo, one being that of Fujiwara Bunjiro Toriusai Kiyonaga (Kiyotoshi) of Shiba. He introduced a peculiar style of gold nunome rubbed in a Y teoki the effect of which is very rich.

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A Collaboration of Robert E. Haynes and Elliott D. Long

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