The Oji Inari Shrine was the oldest shrine in the Kanto district. The village of Oji dedicated the shrine to the rice deity Inari. Every autumn farmers and pilgrims would visit to pay homage for a good harvest. During the New Year, they would wish for health and prosperity. Inari was one of the most popular deities. His shrines were often guarded by a pair of foxes, (kitsune) who were known to be messengers for the deities. Here we see the shrine’s red portico on the right side which covers one of the shrine’s servants located on the veranda. He is looking at the visitors who are bringing offerings such as rice wine (sake) and baked tofu (inari sushi). Through the tall cedars is the silhouette of Mt. Tsukuba highlighted with a red horizontal streak. The tiny plum buds on the trees indicate that spring is coming.
Object Name: Print
Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Robert H. Patterson
Medium: Woodblock print in colored ink on paper
Made in: Japan
Data Source: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum