Very rare set of six makimono that illustrate the six realms of reincarnation, all mixed up over the six scrolls. Each scroll consists of five illustrations that alternate scenes from daily life with its sufferings and sins and scenes from hell that come as a punishment to those sins and with scenes from the life of Buddha, including also the nine stages of decay (kusozu). Each image is 31.1 inches (79 cm) long. The scrolls were probably used as a Buddhist teaching tool, to explain to laymen about sin and punishment and the superficialities of life. Ink, color, gofun and gold on paper. Japan, 19th century.
Each scroll: height 10.8 inches (27.4 cm), length 155.5 inches (395 cm).
Few restored worm holes, some traces of usage, slightly rubbed areas, mainly in the gofun, two spotty spots in scroll A, basically in very good condition. Mounting fairly recent and in excellent condition.
The six realms of reincarnation are from bottom to top hell, the realm of the hungry ghosts, realm of the animals, Asura, realm of the humans and the realm of the devas. The ultimate escape is enlightenment, which makes one being reborn into the Western Paradise.