Scene at Itsukushima Shrine, Aki Province, 1853

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Built on pilings over Hiroshima Bay, Itsukushima Shrine is one of the three most famous spots of scenic beauty in Japan. At high tide, the shrine seems to float on the water. The annual Kangen Festival is held at high tide on an early August evening. Kangen (ancient court music) was originally a summertime diversion among Heian period (794-1185) aristocrats, and included boating parties with musicians performing on-board. Taira no Kiyomori, a 12th century political leader and founder of Itsukushima Shrine, combined kangen entertainment with a ritual ceremony to worship the shrine's three goddesses. A procession of boats, led by local fishermen, bears a portable shrine out into the bay where the ancient music is played. This print illustrates the returning boats as they approach the great torii gateway, which marks the entrance to the shrine precinct.

Scene at Itsukushima Shrine, Aki Province
Artist Life
1797 - 1858
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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