Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tanabata Star Festival

[click images for full size versions]

Despite not having monsters (as per the library classification) in the images, I found these delicate early Edo period illustrations to be nonetheless quite exquisite. Completed in ~1660, the 3 volume set has perhaps 25 birdseye view scenes with gold leaf clouding above and below to signify dreaming.

A beautiful daughter of a Japanese Minister dreams that she marries and has a child named Amewakamiko. The father of the child descends to earth during the Tanabata Star Festival and takes the child back to the heavens. Our beauty overcomes this dream-trauma by marrying the Crown Prince and living happily ever after. [I still prefer visual monsters to a Mills & Boon story however].

The images from Amewakamiko are hosted by Japan's Keio University and I think you need a 'SiD' browser plugin to view them in large format, although they do have jpegs available. Click a number for thumbnail views from the respective volumes. The above images are slightly cropped at the top and bottom from the zoom/screen capture.

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