Friday, 5 July 2013

Himiko




Queen Himiko's memory is still very much alive in modern day Japan. |Himiko|, sometimes also referred to as Pimiko or the Sun Queen, was a shaman queen of Yamataikoku in ancient Wa. We know of her through records that have survived from Chinese envoys of that era, who wrote of having dealings with this legendary queen. In fact Himiko may be a Chinese corruption of himemiko (princess priestess or lady shaman), which translates to ‘Sun Child’. This off course illustrates her ties with the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, of which even the present day emperor of Japan claims to be a direct descendant of.

Himiko never married, and if legends are true, that might be because she didn't really seem to care for having men around in general. " It is recorded that she kept 1,000 female attendants, that there was only one man in charge of changing her wardrobe and providing her meals, and that she was rarely seen in public. " So aside of apparently being a bit of a hermit, she was definately lightyears ahead of her time when it came to encouraging a solid femal presence in the work environment ;).

Wether she had actual supernatural abilities or not, Himiko was certainly looked up to by her people as a spiritual leader and she was extremely well loved. So much so even, that her male succesor had a pretty rough time filling her shoes. Protests arose throughout the kingdom and the peace that Himiko had held for so long was at stake. It was only when a relative of Queen Himiko, a thirteen-year-old girl by the name of Iyo, was placed on the throne instead that the situation calmed down.

I tried to keep a light watercolour sort of feel to this piece, mirroring (yet not even coming remotely close to) the gorgeous Japanese watercolours by the old masters. This is number eight in the series of hopefully twelve, and I've actually already have the remaining four girls picked out. I don't want to jinx this you guys, but I think I might just be pulling this calendar project thing off. *fingers crossed*


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