- Shinto kaiga
- Shinto paintings. Shinto seems originally to have been aniconic, the kami having no fixed forms around which iconography could develop. Iconic representations including paintings and statues (see Shinzo) appeared as a result of Buddhist influence and largely represent the combinatory tradition (shinbutsu shugo) which locates the kami within a Buddhist world-view. Paintings include portraits of deified humans such as Sugawara, Michizane (tenjin) and kami in a variety of forms such as old men, women, Buddhist priests and children. Pictures of kami as human-like figures are also found in post-Meiji popular Shinto art such as scroll paintings. In some cases paintings have become shintai. Shrines were classically depicted in two ways. The paintings known as suika-ga are essentially landscapes which show shrines as the beautiful dwelling-places of local kami. Probably the best-known example is a painting of the Nachi waterfall at Kumano. In a different category of art are the honji-suijaku-ga (or suijaku-ga) which are mandara (mandalas) replete with symbolism depicting the shrine-temple complexes as Buddhist 'pure lands' peopled with bosatsu (honji, basic essence) and kami (suijaku, trace manifestations). Outstanding examples of such paintings are preserved from the Kasuga, Ise, Sanno (Hie), Atsuta, Kitano, Kumano and other shrine complexes.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.