onsdag 3 februari 2010

To cherish one's obsessions

Chikanobu, Tamamo-no-mae changing into a nine tailed fox, 1886
I have collected pictures of prints depicting kitsune in different ways, and am highly interested in the very act of tranformation, where the person ceases to be human and turns into his or hers animal form. I like the fact tat this transformation isn't shown, just hinted at in different ways as in the fold of fabrics that echoes the outlines of tails, or how a persons shadow shows an animal instead. It leaves most of the transformation to the imagination of the viewer, something I find very attractive. Some things can only bli imagined.

4 kommentarer:

  1. This was a nice post! Short but still had magic in a way. I had a long time that I was little burned out for Traditional Japanese tattooing, or the motifs, but things like this get my back in the saddle, slowly, but shurely :)

    How much do you think (relating what you wrote in the comments at the last post) Kitsune is similar to christianitys "woman and apple" story? Is there any parallels?

  2. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

  3. Thank you, mr Castello! Glad to hear that this breif reflection could inpire you.

    When it comes to your question, I would not say that I see too many parallells with christianitys "Eve and the fall of man"-theme in the myths surrounding kitsune. Of course there is a certain amount of fear of female powers embedded in the tales, but then again, the kitsune is not solely female - in many folk tales the fox's human shape is that of an elderly man. I would say that the lore surrounding foxes and fox worship is based to a large extent on th elore about the mysteries of nature rather that the myth about women. Then again - women are often referad to as "nature" rather than "culture". It is hard to say what came first - the hen or the egg.

    My personal belief is that when it comes to the visual depictions of the fox's transformation the female form has been favoured because of its aesthetic qualities, but as I said, it is just my belief. There is of course a few ukiyo-e depictions (that I know of, I woul'd like to add) of man/fox transformations that actually depict men, but I have only come across a few, and those are rarely as expressive as those depicting women ( see Yoshitoshis print in "100 aspects of the moon" as an example). It would be interesting to look into the question in greater depth, I'm sure.

  4. Nice answer again. All you "Horimatsus" are fine people :)