Phyl G

Phyl G

Posted on 07/20/2013

Photo taken on February  6, 2010

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Royal Ontario Museum
Japanese Art

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Triptych - the Great Battle

Triptych - the Great Battle
After a huge, destructive earthquake in Tokyo (then Edo) in 1855, these woodblock "earthquake prints" began being produced. The Japanese people believed a giant catfish living underground caused the earthquake when it moved.

In this triptych, carpenters and geisha (with the tools of their trade) are battling the catfish, while observed by ghosts of those who died, and the war god Kashima Daimyojin on the right.

Two months after the prints started appearing, the government banned them, calling them seditious. There are about 300 known designs.