Thursday, March 14, 2013

Edo Sugoroku (?)

This is a fairly recent addition to our collection and has nothing at all to do with textiles...but we couldn't resist it. It's an Edo period Buddhist illustration and we think it might be a suguroku, a traditional type of board game. Similar Buddhist sugoroku were common in this period.  But if anyone has any other thoughts please let me know, I'm interested in any opinions. It's difficult to read the text but it shows the path of an adult life, with the skeleton forming  a constant reminder of our mortality. The skeleton illustrations are amazing and I love the dark sense of humour. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

Some pleasures of life:
More intimate pleasures of life:
Things going less well:

Death and a funeral pyre:


And our final fate....
*For information on the history of sugoroku see 'Sugoroku Prints' by Yamamoto Masakatsu in 'Daruma Japanese Art & Antiques Magazine, Issue 51


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