Inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e prints of Edo period, Manekistefy created “Heroes Series”: 10 prints dedicated to Horimono back piece.
There are several versions of Tamatori Hime’s story; this one was told to us by our Japanese friends.
Tamatori Hime was an ‘Ama’, a pearl diver. Ama women usually wear red robes with an exposed torso.
They are famous for their free diving skills, which allows them to dive for pearls.
Tamatori fell in love with a lord, becoming his concubine and having a child.
They loved each other intensely and lived a good life, until…
Her beloved was called upon to restore his family reputation, meaning he must find the tide pearl that had been lost at sea.
In Japanese tradition, offering jewels to the ocean is a ritual performed to calm the sea God, Ryuji: a mighty dragon, King of the Sea,
and it is the king’s right to keep the offered jewels. For this reason, Ryuji, kept the tide jewel, as was his right.
Tamatori thought of a way to help her beloved to find the pearl.
A feast was organized on the shore, with music and food to attract the dragon and all his marine friends. Once the Ryuji was distracted, Tamatori was able to steal the pearl but, unfortunately, she was discovered.
While swimming to the surface, the Dragon attacked her, mortally wounding her. But, with quickness of thought, she cut open her chest and hid the pearl inside the wound.
She succeeded in delivering the pearl to her beloved;
in return, she asked that their son be considered legitimate.
She was called princess Tamatori, Tamatori Hime.
Manekistefy really loves this story, because it expresses unconditional love. Doing something for another person without expecting something in return, which sounds almost impossible in this day and age.
An altruistic act is now often viewed with suspicion and a hidden motive.
We are living in a world where nobody does anything for nothing, and that’s sad!
That is why Tamatori Hime is Manekistefy’s hero!
Size: A3, 42 cm X 29,7 cm
Paper: Watermarked 260 gr