Important Cultural PropertyStable, folding screens

Save Image

image 全画面表示
  • A pair of six-fold screens
  • Color on paper
  • 149.6x353.9
  • Muromachi period/16th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-10139

Due to the trend among samurai to keep fine horses, stables became not only places to keep horses, but nicely built and maintained places for social interaction, where the owner's proud horses were tethered. It is believed that the representation of proud horses in a stable became a separate, popular motif in the Age of Civil Wars. The umaya-zu (pictures of stables) can be roughly divided into two categories: those depicting only tethered horses without people and those with horses and people having fun in front of the stable. This pair of folding screens is of the latter type, that is, the stable is represented as a place for social interactions and owes much of the design to that of a precursory folding screen of the same type owned by the Cleveland Museum of Art. While the Cleveland screen has one horse per panel, this pair depicts three moving horses on one screen and three stationary horses on the other and its brilliancy is enhanced by adding the elements of kacho-zu (paintings of birds and flowers) to the elements of genre painting.
The fusion of yamato-e (Japanese painting) and Chinese painting techniques in this pair of folding screens, such as the style of representing trees and rocks and the technique of using kindei (gold leaf paste) for clouds and mist and painting the ground in strong colors, shows a similarity to the "Kanpuzu Byobu" by Kano Hideyori (owned by the Tokyo National Museum) and suggests that this pair may have been created at the end of the Muromachi period.