Shiko Munakata

Shiko Munakata, (1903-1975)

The Healing Buddha (the fence of...)
(Yakushi Io Nyorai Zo no saku)

sumizuri-e of the seated bodhisattva holding a jar; the title at upper right, Yakushi Io Nyorai Zo, followed by artist's signature Shiko hai sei, signed again in pencilled kanji, Shiko and in pencilled English, Munakata, with artist's square seal Muna-Shiko, ca. 1958 (blocks carved)

31.3 by 20.7 cm

Munakata concludes each of his titles with the phrase no saku (or hanga saku). Hanga, written in the typical way means 'print picture', but Munakata always wrote it with different characters which literally translate as 'board picture'- emphasizing the importance of the material (wood) as opposed to the process (printing). Saku generally means a picket fence, but it also references the practice on the island of Shikoku where pilgrams would pound a stake into the ground after praying at the temple found at each station of the pilgramage, demonstrating their continuing commitment through continuing effort. Munakata likened his printmaking to this ongoing process, "No print is complete in itself, it is one more stake in the ground. It is one more step toward the goal of a lifetime. It is one more prayer that I may reach that goal" (Shiko Munakata, by Yojuro Yasuda, translated by Oliver Statler, 1958, p. 82).


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
December 2, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475