Tagged: nōsatsu

New Collection: Shobundo Senjafuda Collection

Earlier this year, Special Collections and University Archives acquired a new collection of Japanese votive slips, or fuda, which are now available for viewing and research in the SCUA reading room.

Fuda, also called nōsatsu, are Japanese votive slips printed using a woodblock process. Originally, created in the 11th century by religious pilgrims as devotional items, these slips have become part of a vibrant collecting and exchange culture in Japan and abroad. The religious senjafuda are generally unadorned, consisting of only the pilgrim’s name, and pasted to the walls of temples and shrines. The more detailed and luxurious kokanfuda, featuring many subjects including kabuki characters and mythological creatures, are collected and traded by members of a nōsatsu-kai, or exchange clubs. Individual nōsatsu clubs generally commission artists, carvers, and printers to produce new slips for trading at nōsatsu-kai meetings and events.

Yokohama nōsatsu-kai circa 1950s

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Rare Collection | nōsatsu Japanese shrine and temple votive slips

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The University of Oregon’s Special Collections and University Archives holds the only known collection of Japanese shrine and temple votive slips (nōsatsu or senjafuda) in North America. The prints were collected by Frederick Starr, an anthropologist from the University of Chicago, who was intrigued by the religious nature of the votive slips and the transmission of Ukiyo-e printing techniques and tropes from the Edo period to the nōsatsu of the Meiji and Taisho eras (1868-1925). Starr became a regular participant in the nōsatsu exchange clubs (nōsatsu-kai) that were experiencing a revival during that time and, like other members, commissioned highly decorative slips to exchange at meetings.

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