Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858)
Fudō Falls, Ōji
From the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), 1857
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Gift of James A. Michener, 1991

Within the Buddhist pantheon, Fudō Myō-ō (literally, “the king of immutable faith”) is known as a fierce god who captures with his lasso those who have become spiritually confused and forcibly drags them towards enlightenment. In Japanese art, he is often depicted beside a waterfall, watching as a repentant believer stand beneath the cascade as a form of ascetic training (taki-gyō). This waterfall in Ōji district was famous as a destination for Buddhist pilgrims who wished to purify themselves.

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