Bleg: Name This Artist

On our first day in Kyoto, Kate and I went to a bunch of temples, including one that was showing a bunch of really cool paintings featuring Buddhist temple accessories come to life and chasing monsters around. They had a sort of demented whimsy to them, and you can get a little flavor of it from the background images in this poster:


Of course, neither of us can read a word of Japanese (well, that’s not quite true– I can spot the character for “temple” in the group at the upper left), so we have no idea what the artist’s name is, or anything at all about the show.

I’m sure that somebody out there knows something more, or can at least read this poster. So, can anybody with an art background or Japanese language skills help a blogger out, here?


  1. #1 WTJ
    December 15, 2007

    it’s talking about an exhibition of hundreds ghosts in some temple, no artist was mentioned on the posters.

  2. #2 Chad Orzel
    December 15, 2007

    Can you give more detail on the title of the exhibition? That might be Google-able, even if there isn’t an artist’s name.

    (There’s more text at the bottom of the poster, cropped out in this image, but when I blew it up, it’s just dates and times, based on the formatting.)

  3. #3 Yuji
    December 15, 2007

    Hi, I found the official web page for that event:
    The page says the painting is by an anonymous painter from the Edo period, that is about 300 years ago.

    You can find more about “百鬼夜行”, in the wikipedia article

  4. #5 cohærence *
    December 15, 2007

    * related pop art via Tokyo Buddhism fashion exhibition –

  5. #6 Random
    December 16, 2007

    Let me attempt to give you a literal translation of what the words on the poster reads, from the biggest words to the smallest.

    Exhibition of The Night Parade of the Hundred Demons/Ghosts
    Gao Tai Temple, Yuan De Garden
    From 11th July to 31st August of the 19th Year of Ping Cheng

    Artist Information:

    Ping Cheng Year: Japanesse calendar
    It actually means Years from the start of the dynasty of Ping Cheng.
    The 1st year of Ping Cheng is be the start of the dynasty, and it happened in 1989.
    In this case the exhibition is in the 19th year from the start of the Ping Cheng dynasty.
    A simple calculation shows that 1989+19-1=2007 (I’m sure I don’t have to explain why I had to make a subtraction of 1 in the calculations.)

    Here you go!

  6. #7 Random
    December 16, 2007

    Sorry I typed “…is be…”(line 9)! That was a typographical error. :)

  7. #8 rpenner
    December 16, 2007

    The concept of the night parade of 100 demons features as the climax of the Studio Ghibli movie “Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko” (Disney released the English DVD under the name “Pom Poko”

    Here’s a related taxonomic tree:

  8. #9 rpenner
    December 16, 2007

    Oh, and the typical Japanese romaji representation of the current (1989) era is “Heisei” (平成). “ping(2) cheng(2)” is the pinyin pronounciation of the characters in the Mandarin dialect.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.