A beautiful modern design by Taizo Minakawa from his series “Twelve Views of Kyoto,” published by Unsodo in 1964.
The Daimonji Festival’s formal name is Gozan no Okuribi (五山の送り火), which translates as “five mountain send off fire”, but everyone in Kyoto refers to the festival as Daimonji. This day marks the end of the Obon season, which is the time of the year when the souls of one’s ancestors return from the other world on their annual visit. Daimonji, literally meaning “large/great character”, is the annual lighting of massive bonfires of the characters or shapes that have been cut into the mountains that surround Kyoto on three sides to the north, east and west. The purpose of these bonfires is to guide the souls back to heaven.
The Woodblock Print
This print is between an aiban and oban size, with the image area measuring 11″x14″. The print is in very good condition with strong colors and rich details, very minimal toning around the edges of the image. A mostly clean verso with just one area of tape residue.
About the Artist
Taizo Minagawa was born in Kyoto in 1917 and graduated from the Kyoto City School of Arts and Crafts. While he is best known as a weaver and textile dyer in Japan, he also produced sosaku-hanga woodblock prints during the 20th century.