Washing the Corpse (yukan ceremony) Series “the Life of the Japanese”. Kawahara Keiga.

Washing the Corpse (yukan ceremony) Series “the Life of the Japanese”.
Collection MAE RAS: № 13-34/39(27)
Image ID: 3708363
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Museum inventory number:
№ 13-34/39(27)
Title:
Washing the Corpse (yukan ceremony) Series “the Life of the Japanese”.
Author:
Kawahara Keiga
Dating:
1820-s
Location:
Japan
Materials:
silk textile, Japanese watercolours, ink, Japanese washigami paper, glue
Technics:
painting on silk
Dimensions, cm:
34.8 x 46.7
Collector:
Siebold, von Philipp Frantz
Commentation:
The list depicts a yukan purification ceremony - the ritual of washing the corpse, in which the body of the deceased is bathed and shaved. The ceremony is undertaken by some of the house-mates or by specially invited barber and his assistants (as in the case depicted here). Two Buddhist monks in the adjacent room are writing the kaimyo (a Buddhist posthumous name of the deceased) on a kyokatabira shroud (literally – “a dress of Sutra”), using the so called bonji – “sanskrit characters”. A room with the mourning family is in the right part of the painting. It has some inaccuracies: thus< the barber is dressed in an ornamented kimono and red obi sash; the kyokatabira is ornamented, too – whereas the Buddhist funeral tradition prohibits “mottled garments” – the colour must be strictly white.