Prints depicting Otake

 

Otake (Otake Dainichi Nyorai) was a humble maidservant of the Sakuma family in Odenma-cho in Edo, who was known for the extreme diligence she brought to even the most menial chores.  A group of mountain ascetics, who were searching for the reincarnation of the Nyorai Buddha, found her.  When Otake bent down to pick up a few grains of rice that had fallen on the floor, a halo-like light surrounded her, convincing the ascetics that they had come upon a divine being.  Otake is often portrayed with an object behind her head that resembles a halo, or with a shadow or reflection identifying her as a buddha.  Unless otherwise indicated, these prints are each about 14 by 10 inches (36 by 25 centimeters), a size known as ôban.

 

Title: A Brief History of Otake Dainichi Nyorai

Description: The woman Otake, who is considered to be an incarnation of Dainichi Buddha

Date: 1851

Publisher: Kobayashi Taijirô

 

 

Title: Jiisan basan anesan mukashi banashi

Description: The deities Okina Inari, Datsueba and Otake

Date: 1849

Publisher:

 

Title: Shibuya Kuritsu Shôtô Bijutsukan, Ukiyoeshitachi no shinbutsu

Description: Datsueba is dancing to Okina Inari’s drum and Otake Dainichi’s shamisen

Date: 1847-1850 (censors Mera and Murata)

Publisher: Enshû-ya Matabei

Linhart: 50/10029

 

Title: A Brief History of Otake Dainichi Nyorai, the Woman Otake Who is Considered to be an Incarnation of the Dainichi Buddha

Description: Otake in heaven with a city and Mt. Fuji below

Date: 1849

Publisher: Kobayashi Taijirô

 

Title: The Legend of the Maidservant Otake

Description: Two men see Otake’s shadow and realize that she is a reincarnation of the Nyorai Buddha

Date: 1851

Publisher:

 

Title: Objects from Kitchen Praying to Otake Dainichi Nyorai

Description:

Date: 1847-1850

Publisher: Enshû-ya Hokobei

 

Title: Ryûkôken

Description: The three gods Okina Inari, Datsueba and Otake playing ken

Date: 1849

Publisher: Ôta-ya Takichi

Linhart: 46/10031

 

NOTE: The small figures show the steps to a dance in he kabuki play Shinki ikken tori no hatsu koe, which was performed in the 2nd month of 1849 at the Ichimura theater

 

Title: Ryûkôken

Description: The three gods Okina Inari, Datsueba and Otake playing ken

Date: 1849

Publisher: Ôta-ya Takichi

Linhart: 47/10032

 

Title: The legend of the maidservant Otake Dainichi Nyorai (於竹大日如来)

Description: Spectators praying to Otake

Date: 1846-1848 (censors Maramatsu and Yoshimura)

Publisher: under a single mountain is identified as Ôda-ya Takichi of Yushima in Kuniyoshi by B. W. Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961), but as Yamashiro-ya Sahei in Publishers of Japanese Woodblock Prints: A Compendium by Andreas Marks (Hotei Publishing, Leiden, 2011)

 

 

Another state of the above design, or possibly a faded version of the above.

 

Title: Otake, the living Dainichi Nyorai (於竹大日如来の由来)

Description:

Date: c. 1848

Publisher: Ebi-ya Rinnosuke

 

 

Title: The Story of the Maidservant Otake (Hijo Otake no Setsu)

Description: Otake preparing food

Date: 1847-1850

Publisher: Tsujiokaya Bunsuke

 

 

 

Title: The Legend of the Maidservant Otake Dainichi Nyorai (浮世絵に書かれたお竹大日如来)

Description: Otake washing the floor

Date: 1846-1852

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya Tôbei

 

Title: The Legend of the Maidservant Otake Dainichi Nyorai

Description:

Date: 1849

Publisher: Yamaguchi-ya Tôbei

 

Series: Stories of Wise Women and Faithful Wives (Kenjo reppuden, 賢女烈婦傳)

Title: The Maid Take-jo (Kokuji Take-jo, 嬶竹女)

Description: Take-jo (Otake Dainichi Nyorai) sprinkling grain for birds

Date: c. 1841-1842

Publisher: Iba-ya Sensaburô

Robinson: S20.20

 

 

 

Title: お竹大日如来の出開帳

Description: Otake looking down from heaven

Date: 1846-1852

Publisher:

 

 

 

 

Title: Otake, the living Dainichi Nyorai (Great sun Buddha or Vairocana)

Description:

Date: c.1848

Publisher:

 

“Linhart” refers to listing in the article ‘Kuniyoshi’s Ken Caricatures between 1847 and 1853’, by Sepp Linhart in Andon, Vol. 83, 2008, pp. 5-29

“Robinson” refers to listing in Kuniyoshi: The Warrior-Prints by Basil William Robinson (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1982) and its privately published supplement.

 

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