One of the most expressive features of the human body, hands have played various symbolic roles in art throughout the history of humankind.
For the past eight years, a research team led by Yoshiharu Kamino, a museum careers professor at the Musashino Art University's Humanities and Sciences department, has been studying 60,000 wooden hand and feet votive offerings that, over 200 years, have been left for the Mikata Ishi Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) in Wakasa, Fukui Prefecture.
This exhibition explores the portrayal of hands in various forms, including votive offerings, ningyō jōruri (Japanese puppet storytelling) dolls and Nebuta matsuri (festival) lanterns. Also on display are historical everyday hand tools, such as a compass from Nepal, a carpet beater and fire tongs. (Yukari Tanaka)