A rescued woodblock print by Clifton Karhu.

14.5 x 41 inches

Oni no Nenbutsu

My husband Michael bought this Clifton Karhu print in Kyoto in 1966. It illustrates the expression Oni no Nenbutsu—”the demon chants a prayer.” Karhu translates it as “You can’t always tell what’s on the inside by the outside,” but the real meaning is actually closer to “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” That is, even if he’s virtuously chanting a prayer, he is still a demon...

This particular print had once been framed and also been damaged over the years. I cleaned it up a bit and mounted it as a scroll. The finials are unusual shino-style glazed ceramic, made by Tobi Szuts.