“Miracles of Kannon” is a large series of woodblock prints designed in cooperation by Kunisada and Hiroshige II; the series was envisioned in three parts: thirty-three prints were made for the western provinces, thirty-three for the eastern provinces and thirty-four for the central provinces, but it is unclear if the series was ever completed. The series itself was published between 1858 and 1859 and details Kannon, a Buddhist deity revered in India. This series may have been marketed towards people in the rural areas of Japan where Buddhism was more widespread.
This print is No. 5 of the series, and reads:
No. 5 Kawachi Fujiidera
ask the cockling Fujiidera
flower purple clouds in Utena of
Buddha eleven faces thousand hand Senme Kannon
open group Gyoki Bodhisattva
AnHajime is served in the Yamato Kokuka fraction of Satobito / Being a goddamn person / At some point, hunting deer near Kawachi Kunihiraishi / Entering the temple of the mountain / Boil the meat with Buddhist equipment as a target firewood / Die to a fire truck / Become a fire truck Gyoki’s blame for riding hell / One child appears and tries to save him / The graduates of prison say, “He shouldn’t injure Buddhism and go to Yu, a person who is a treason.” Even though he is a sinner, he once has a good root to pull the timber for the reconstruction of Hase-dera, where I live. Becoming a disciple of Gyoki Bodhisattva / With the remainder of the sacred tree that chops Hase Kannon / Making this statue / Hearing the Holy War Emperor / Gyoki is the opening base / Aki is the cause of Fujiidera / Actually Kongoji Temple / Really a mysterious spiritual experience
The Woodblock Print
About the Artists
In 1807 Utagawa Kunisada produced his first illustrated book and in 1808 his first actor prints were published. While other artists like Kuniyoshi Utagawa or Hiroshige had to fight for recognition for years, he was successful from the beginning and would become the most commercially successful of all woodblock printmakers ever. Kunisada designed a wide spectrum of traditional ukiyo-e subjects like kabuki themes, beautiful women, historical events and quite a few shunga prints.
Hiroshige II, Utagawa