University of Oregon

Stuck on Collecting: The Art of Japanese Votive Slips, 1860 to 1930

Highlights from the UO Libraries' collection on exhibit in Knight Library

March - April, 2017

From The Gertrude Bass Warner Collection of Japanese Votive Slips (nōsatsu), 1850s to 1930s, UO Libraries Special Collections.
Votive Slips Folio 8 Recto, artist unknown. From The Gertrude Bass Warner Collection of Japanese Votive Slips (nōsatsu), 1850s to 1930s, UO Libraries Special Collections.
 
The University of Oregon Libraries holds the only known collection of Japanese shrine and temple votive slips (nōsatsu) in North America. The Gertrude Bass Warner Collection of Japanese Votive Slips comprises nōsatsu dating from the 1850s to 1930s. In addition to their original use in religious observance, the votive slips became objects of popular fascination, collected and traded at exchange clubs (nōsatsu-kai) that experienced a revival during the Meiji and Taishō eras (1868–1925).
 
The nōsatsu images in the University of Oregon’s collection cover a wide range of themes and topics including landscapes; depictions of figures from Edo-period popular fiction and theatre; shrines and temples; seasonal celebrations; mythical creatures; firefighters; Japanese toys and collectibles; and prints showing the activities of the nōsatsu-kai members themselves.
 
Many of the items in the collection have been digitized and made available on Oregon Digital. This exhibit in the cases outside the Knight Library Browsing Room (106) offers the public an opportunity for a close-up look at some of the most impressive votive slips in their original format.
University of Oregon Libraries
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