The Legendary Empress Jingū

Kōsai Hokushin 蛟斎北岑 Japanese

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Jingū, a legendary empress of Japan, was a warrior-ruler, said to have been active in the third century. A wet nurse cradles her son, the future emperor Ōjin. Takenouchi no Sukune, her wizened general, holds a fan inscribed with the words “destroyer of armies,” referring to a militarily auspicious star in the Big Dipper, and a reminder that Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and many of his students—including Kōsai Hokushin—were adherents of the cult of the North Star.

The Legendary Empress Jingū, Kōsai Hokushin 蛟斎北岑 (Japanese, 1824–1876), Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

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