Pasting Votive Slips on a Statue of Enma



Pasting Votive Slips on a Statue of Enma


A gargantuan 32-chō image of a statue of Enma festooned with senjafuda. At the bottom of the composition, dwarfed by the statue, we see daring pasters in action, with ladders, pole-mounted brushes, and chests containing their daimei fuda. The reddish-brown surfaces to the sides and top of the statue are meant to be understood as a gate through which we are viewing the scene; at the top is a huge ema, with a black frame, held up by two metal clamps. The bottoms of huge hanging lanterns can be seen through the gate. Gateposts and lintel are also covered with senjafuda, and the ema on the lintel is filled with more daimei. Each of these slips-within-the-slip represents a real-life senjafuda practitioner who participated in the funding of this slip. The contrast between Enma’s ferocious expression and the nonchalance with which dozens of pasters have violated his sanctum makes this scene a masterpiece of humor as well as of senjafuda design.


"Pasting Votive Slips on a Statue of Enma," Shōbundō senjafuda collection, Coll 482, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.


Shōbundō senjafuda collection (Coll 482)

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