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Drinking Wine | by ellenm1
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Drinking Wine

attributed to Katsushika Hokusai

Japanese, 1760-1849

ink and colors on paper


The text and painting are unrelated except that they both deal with drinking saké. In the painting a figure wraps his elongated neck around the protruding cranium of his non-too-happy looking drinking partner. This partner may be Jurojin, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, who loves saké, although here he lacks his usual long white beard and happy grin.


It was believed that certain people had necks that elongated while they slept, allowing their heads to trvael through space to suck blood and energy out of their victims. They had no memory of their nocturnal escapades and looked completely normal while awake. Others thought that characters with long elastic necks could visit distant lands and even other planets.

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Taken on November 4, 2010