Last night, June 12,
2004, I was reading about ukiyo paintings. In an entry by Professor Melinda
Takeuchi describing a hanging scroll by Hishikawa Moronobu (ca. 1661-1694)
of an elegantly robed beauty she noted the religious nuance of the raised
big toe of the woman: "...the raised toe of the fierce deity Fudo, for
example, signifies passion."
This came like a bolt
out of the blue. I didn't know that. It sent me scurrying about looking for
this diptych because I remembered that there was a touch of flesh toward the
bottom of the image of Fudo, but what I couldn't remember was if it was a
raised toe or not. I looked at my web page, but that was inconclusive. So, I
found the print and I am sad to say that it only shows a bit of a bare shin.
No feet, no toes. Sorry.
also noted the use of hand gestures which mimicked the Buddhist mudras.
Those I could understand, but not the toes. Linking such a feature to
passion is reasonable, but rather odd. However, after some thought I
recalled that anyone who has ever endured the dentisit drill must be aware
of the curling and uncurling of their toes which is not unlike the white
knuckle affect. But passion...?