In need of a bit of translation...

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In need of a bit of translation...

Postby Damien W » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:54 am

Greetings all!
Try as i might i've not been able to meet with much luck translating an inscription on the underside of a stand i recently bought...sooooo, the next logical step seemed to be to ask if anyone on here might have more of a clue than me?

I'd imagine its a date or maker's details or something along those lines?

What follows is my crude attempt to make it a little more readable... + a pic of the stand itself

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stand resize.jpg
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Re: In need of a bit of translation...

Postby Steve » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:50 pm

Hi Damien,

Sorry I can't be of any help - a bit too cursive for me. Is that stand Chinese perhaps? Looks lovely in any case.
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Re: In need of a bit of translation...

Postby Ford » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:27 pm

Looks decidedly Japanese to me. It'd take while to properly read the inscription but I can clearly read Ōmiya 大宮 the middle there, which might refer to the place or simply mean 'large shrine'. Shrines are Shinto and Temples are Buddhist. Given that this is not likely a Shinto artefact based on the elaborate decoration. Ōmiya can also mean 'Imperial Palace'...in which case I'd be quite suspicious.

The following two kanji might be 方石
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Re: In need of a bit of translation...

Postby Damien W » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Thank you so much for the help!
I've been very clumsily looking through kanji dictionaries and trying to guess what the stand's characters look most similar to...thus far with predictably small results :)

I can pretty comfortably say its Japanese and was originally a stand for a sculpture of a shishi or komainu (you can still see some faint outlines from the butt, tail and front and back legs...now i just need to find a figure to sit on it...

IMG_8066.jpg


I've also found a couple of examples of similar stands paired with their beasties...
According to the (fabulous) Miho Museum exhibition catalogue 'Shishi & Komainu Mythical Beasts from Far Away', the first pair are from the Yasaka shrine in Kyoto and were made at some point in the mid to late Kamakura period, the second pair i found online and havent been able to track down the origin of.

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