Highly unusual shrine with the image of a horse looking back. The horse has a ‘brocade’ cover over his back and is standing behind a mesh wire fence, the way they would be kept in temple compounds. Polychoromed wood with some gold details. The roof of the shrine is a separate piece. Japan, Meiji period, 19th century.
Height of zushi ca. 7.8 inches (19.5 cm).
Frontal baldachin dislodged but still extant, one door lost its hinge-functions (triangular splinter on right door on last photo), some chipping of the paint on brocade cover of horse. Otherwise very good condition.
This piece needs to be seen as a form of ema, which were offered to temples and shrines as a calling to the deity. The horse is seen to be used by various deities.