Roof Tile with Sparrows


Roof Tile with Sparrows
Print   (Part of the set: Akashi-ban Surimono)

Totoya Hokkei


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


This surimono print designed by Hokkei shows two sparrows nesting in the mouth of an onigawara (demon-shaped roof tile). The full title of this print is "Roof Tile and Sparrows; Specialities of Mizuno in Imado". From the title we can assume that at the time Hokkei made this print Mizuno in Imado (current day Asakusa) was known for its onigawara craftsmanship. The beautiful karazuri embossing on the sparrows' wings is a highlight of the print. The fact that the sparrows are making their nest inside the fierce mouth of the onigawara is no doubt meant to surprise the viewer, making them wonder if the sparrows are nesting or in fact being eaten!

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