namazu-e 鯰絵
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Pictures of a catfish, namazu 鯰. Japanese legend has it that the movement of large catfish deep inside the earth causes earthquakes but that this movement can be controlled by Kashima Daimyoujin 鹿島大明神 placing large rocks in the catfish. This story was revived at the time of the Great Edo Earthquake of 1854 and at the same time, pictures depicting the extermination of catfish or personifying catfish became popular print subjects. Most have no seals or signatures and the carvings of the blocks are rough.


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