Futarasan jinja shrine or Nikkō Futarasan Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, north of Tokyo. Futarasan enshrines three deities: Okuninushi (Ruler of the unseen world of spirits and magic, God of nation-building, farming, business, and medicine.), Tagori-hime (Goddess of travel), and Ajisukitakahikone (God of Thunder). The shrine was founded in 767 and takes its name from Mount Nantai, which is also called Futarasan. It is believed that the most common link or “go-shintai” between the people and the Gods is a nearby mountain peak supplying with its streams water, and therefore life, to the plains below where people lived. Mount Nantai constitutes Futarasan Shrine’s go-shintai, and the shrine is an important example of this ancient type of mountain cult.
A beautiful design of a lone figure walking along the pathway at Futarasan Shrine at Nikko, the warm yellow light spilling from a paper lantern at the end of a pole. A torii gate is the entrance to the complex, with tall pine trees framing the view. The entire scene shaded in blue and gray shadows as a quiet evening falls.
The Woodblock Print
This print by renowed Koitsu is in very fine condition with the only issue being the toning lines / discoloration in the margin of the print from a previous framing. The print is authenticated to be from the 1937 printing, not the later re-carving/printings. There are no marks or discolorations within the print itself, no residue of backing / tipping, and solid colors in the printing itself. A faint watermark can be seen in the top left margin when the paper is held up to the light. The print also comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Tsuchiya Koitsu is a well-known artist of the Shin Hanga movement, but not among the trendy names like Hasui. As with many shin hanga artists, Tsuchiya Koitsu specialized in landscape images.
Born in 1879 in rural Japan with the given name Koichi. He became a student of the ukiyo-e master Kiyochika Kobayashi (1847-1915) after starting an apprenticeship for a woodblock carver who worked for Kobayashi. Soon the ukiyo-e master himself took care of the young Koitsu, where he stayed and worked for 19 years in the home of his master. From 1931 on, Tsuchiya Koitsu became one of the artists working for the publisher Watanabe in the shin hanga style. His style is reminiscent of the works of his master Kobayashi and of the famous shin hanga artists Kawase Hasui and Hiroshi Yoshida. In typical shin hanga style Tsuchiya Koitsu intensively used the effects of light to create moods and emotions in his images.