Auspicious Animals: The Art of Good Omens | Jun'ichi Uchiyama.
The Japanese term Zuijū means auspicious beasts. The term, tracing back to ancient Chinese thought, is bestowed upon creatures that appear as harbingers of good fortune. This beautiful book, published by Japanese publisher PIE, is full of these auspicious beasts and rare creatures and showcases illustrated artworks, along with sculptures and applied arts that feature these animal omens.
Chapter One introduces the auspicious animals that originated from China, showcasing around 30 animals with explanations. Chapter Two presents another 30 animals that evolved in Japan (including some beautifully carved natsuke). Chapter Three focuses on 10 rare animals from around the world, including India, Australia, The Netherlands, along with China during the Qing Dynasty and Vietnam under the Han Dynasty.
The collection, totaling around 240 pieces, is accompanied by text by Jun’ichi Uchiyama, a professor specialising in the history of early modern Japanese painting, with a focus on the Edo period.