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Kidō Cover, March 1990


The covers of Kidō magazine were always beautiful and unique and conveyed the essence of Japanese tradition. Within the magazine an explanatory note about the scene was always given. The March 1990 cover featured ema votive tablets used to pray for divine help.

Here is the explanation of the cover offered by the artist, Yamamoto Seiyū:

A Word About the Cover

Requesting success in entering school or finding a job is done by way of offering votive ema tablets to the gods or Buddha until the end of March. [Ema, literally horse picture, have been used for this purpose since ancient times, which is the origin of the term. Horses were valuable commodities in those days. The typical ema may be seen in the upper right of the picture. In the lower right, one can see the three monkeys that “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.” The original of this famous depiction comes from a carving at Nikkō.]

Everything that troubles human beings, like money, love and health, has an ema tablet for supplication. The painting depicts an ema peddler during the Taishō Era [1912-1926].


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