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Chimata-no-kami, Japanese "road folk spirits" plaque

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Japanese Metalwork49 of 103Iwachu Dragon nabeshiki (trivet)Japanese tetsubin
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    Posted 11 months ago

    (835 items)

    This cast iron plaque is 8.5" wide x 8" high x 1" deep and weighs 4 lbs 5 ounces.. There is a notation and date (1965) on the back. It came in a wooden box which might be considered a tomobako, or just a box. The box appears to be hand signed, so this may be an artist's piece. There is an indistinct maker's mark on the back, I think. It has a faux copper or bronze finish. I think this a protective plaque depicting the Chimata-no-kami, or "road folk spirits" who protect travelers. I purchased this from a dealer in Japan who had a slightly different perspective on the beings on the plaque, but I am pretty sure that I am correct in my identification.

    Chimata-no-kami, in Japanese Shinto lore, were known as the “road-folk spirits” or “goddesses of innumerable roads.” Chimata-no-kami is actually two guardians combined into one: Yachimata-hime and her consort, Yachiamata-hiko. Travelers would petition their protection against ghosts, haunted buildings, demons, and other such specters.

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    1. Newfld Newfld, 11 months ago
      Wonderful cast iron plaque Kevin, great image of the guardian spirits - your cast iron collection is fabulous
    2. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 11 months ago
      Chihiro could of used these fellows in her adventure!
      Fun aside, the plague looks brand new for being 56 years old! Maybe it was always stored?
      Great piece of Japanese “ culture”!
    3. kwqd kwqd, 11 months ago
      Thanks for your comments, Jenni! I like this one a lot! One of the things I really like about collecting cast iron versus pottery and glass is the lessened worry about damage during shipping!

      Thanks for your comments, Eileen! I've actually never watched Spirited Away! Maybe I should. It got good reviews... The fellow in Japan that I bought this from specializes in estates, so it may have come from a collector or from someone who received it as a gift and never used it. I agree, it looks new.

      Thanks for taking a look at my road folk spirits plaque Eileen, Vynil33rpm, Thomas, jscott0363, RichmondLori, Kevin, Jenni, dav2no1 and fortapache!
    4. Shuzbut Shuzbut, 11 months ago
      cool score Kevin.................
    5. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 11 months ago
      Kevin, it was my Son who turned me on to Gibli anime. They are all great, my favorite is Princess Monanoke! It’s a masterpiece! Another is Howl’s Moving Castle. I gifted the whole collection ( well close) to the Grandsons, they love em. Great for any age! Keep that fellows # handy as this was a great buy! It really is cool with the little spirits on it!
    6. kwqd kwqd, 11 months ago
      Thanks for your comment, Shuzbut! I really like this one!

      Interesting, Eileen! Yep, this dealer has some really nice stuff. A lot of interesting pottery, especially!

      Thanks for loving my Japanese plaque Vynil33rpm, aura and Shuzbut!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 11 months ago
      Thanks for taking a look at my Road Folk Spirits plaque PhilDMorris!
    8. kwqd kwqd, 11 months ago
      Thank you ho2cultcha!

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