unsigned; scenes of a story involving humanoid animals

A Story of Crickets, second half 17th century

Not on Viewexpand_more

One of the great Japanese contributions to pictorial art is the emaki, or picture scroll. Although the format first developed in China, the Japanese combined their own narrative subject matter with their unique decorative painting style (yamato-e), to create a new, distinctly Japanese art form. Buddhist legends, literary and historical works, biographies and fables were all illustrated in lively compositions accompanied by elegant text.

This story concerns the birth of a son in an aristocratic family. The characters wear lavish costumes popular during Japan's Heian period (794-1185). The artist also makes use of a stylistic device developed at that time know as fukinuki-yatai, or "torn away roof," to better show the action within architecture. The story also typifies the wit and humor often encountered in Japanese painting, for the characters are depicted not as Heian aristocrats, but as grasshoppers and other animals.

A Story of Crickets
Artist Life
1599 - 1670
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

unsigned; scenes of a story involving humanoid animals