INFANTICIDE EMA – Japanese folk votive wooden tablet 1852

Very scarce worshipper’s wooden tablets offered for Shinto shrine / Buddhist temple (called ‘Ema’ (lit. ‘Horse picture’)), classified into ‘Mabiki (Culling)-Ema’ as the remonstrant (slogan) tablet for the wickedness of infanticide by the mother (often caused by the distress for hard poverty at that specific time between the late Edo period to early Meiji period). Fuzzy painting of a child’s head with a mother who prays for the child’s rebirth in paradise, and showing up “god” (simplified form of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy)) on the floating crowd. But, curiously not a very awfully disconsolate object considering such background, because of its primitively pure touch and style of folk hand-painting, but simply sad in fact. Signed “Dedication / Woman of year of the serpent / June, Kaei 5 (1852) in Edo period” at back side.

approx. 28 x 15 x 0.6cm (11.02 x 5.90 x 0.23in)



# 796
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