Kasuga Flashback

by Ya Chen

Doctoral Student

Heidelberg University

At the entrance of the Kasuga Shrine, a Shinto maiden is taking water from a huge deer fountain to wash her hands as a way of purification before presenting herself to Gods. Deer symbolizes the holy presence while the mountain is believed to be the holy residence. It must look familiar for the 13th century artist Takashina Takakage,who painted many similar scenes in "The Illustrated Miracles of Kasuga Deities", the subject of my dissertation. How fascinating it is when history comes alive!

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