Sotoorihime 衣通姫
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. princess whose beauty shines through her clothing. The popular name for the concubine of Emperor Ingyou 允恭 (412-53) and the younger sister of the empress. The legend is that, fearing her sister's jealousy, she hid herself in Chinu 茅淳 (present day southern Osaka). A skilled poet, she is enshrined as the deity of Tamatsushima Jinja 玉津島神社 at Wakanoura 和歌の浦 in Wakayama prefecture. In a waka 和歌 poem in NIHONSHOKI 日本書記 (compiled in 720), attributed to Sotoorihime, she waits patiently for her dear emperor to come at night like a spider to catch her. The theme was taken up in painting from the 17c, where she is typically depicted dressed as a court lady holding a fan who looks up at a spider. Well-known examples include paintings by Tosa Mitsuoki 土佐光起 (1617-91, formerly Kawasaki collection) and Kubo Shunman 窪俊満 (1757-1820,Tokyo National Museum) as well as *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints by Torii Kiyonaga 鳥居清長 (1752-1815) and Hosoda Eishi 細田栄之 (1756-1829).


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