Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

The Spirits of the Pine Trees of Takasago and Sumiyoshi
  • Japan
  • The Spirits of the Pine Trees of Takasago and Sumiyoshi
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • color and ink on paper
  • Gift of Polly Bales
  • Not on display
  • S2013.005
Description

Old man and woman stand underneath the pine tree, and are surrounded by cranes and turtles. This elderly couple is the personification of the Sumiyoshi (male) and Takasago (female) pine tree spirits. According to a legend, the spirit of the pine tree at Sumiyoshi (present day, Osaka) pays nightly visits to his wife, the Takasago pine spirit, who lives on the coast at Takasago bay. They symbolize longevity and conjugal devotion.