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sumizuri-e of the seated bodhisattva holding a jar; the title at upper right, Yakushi Io Nyorai Zo, followed by artist’s signature Shiko hai sei, signed again in pencilled kanji, Shiko and in pencilled English, Munakata, with artist’s square seal Muna-Shiko, ca. 1958 (blocks carved)
31.3 by 20.7 cm
Shiko Munakata, by Yojuro Yasuda, translated by Oliver Statler, 1958, p. 82). “>Munakata concludes each of his titles with the phrase no saku (or hanga saku). Hanga, written in the typical way means ‘print picture’, but Munakata always wrote it with different characters which literally translate as ‘board picture’- emphasizing the importance of the material (wood) as opposed to the process (printing). Saku generally means a picket fence, but it also references the practice on the island of Shikoku where pilgrams would pound a stake into the ground after praying at the temple found at each station of the pilgramage, demonstrating their continuing commitment through continuing effort. Munakata likened his printmaking to this ongoing process, “No print is complete in itself, it is one more stake in the ground. It is one more step toward the goal of a lifetime. It is one more prayer that I may reach that goal” (Shiko Munakata, by Yojuro Yasuda, translated by Oliver Statler, 1958, p. 82).