The root of Nara Itto-Bori carving goes back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333), when carved images were used in the Kasuga Grand Shrine Wakamiya Festival. This carving was perfected as an art form by Morikawa Toen, a wood carving master, at the end of the Edo period. Taking its themes mainly from Noh, Bugaku and Kyogen dance dramas and the Jyunishi (the twelve zodiac signs), its main characteristic is a simple, clear and daring carving style with delicate yet dazzlingly rich Coloring.
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