Ohitaki festival, 1820s - 1850s

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Ohitaki, literally "burning sacred fires," is a long-standing Shinto rite held in the eleventh lunar month. Widely performed in western Japan, it probably began as a ceremony to demonstrate the people's appreciation to the gods for a good harvest. Wooden planks (gomaki) emblazoned with prayers are neatly stacked and set on fire. The prayers are believed to reach the heavens amid the rising smoke. Rice wine and food is ritualistically offered to the gods, shown here by a priest who approaches the fire as three children excitedly welcome him. Fifty poets contributed verses to this production. By depicting this well-established seasonal event, Raishø effectively evoked late autumn, the subject of each of the poems.

Ohitaki festival
Artist Life
1796 - 1871
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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