(Boys and a kite), c. 1848-1853

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Introduced from China, the custom of kite-flying became a favorite pastime for boys in Japan. By the 18th century, kite-flying developed into a favorite activity during the New Year holidays, when children were free from school work and house chores and the clear skies and breezes of early spring provided ideal conditions. The boys in this print are preparing to fly a kite that is emblazoned with the character "dragon." While the older boy in a green kimono is adjusting the strings of the kite, the other boy, presumably his younger brother is holding the kite, which is larger than he is. Chøsui's rendering of the boys aptly conveys their joy and excitement at the prospect of seeing this oversize kite high in the sky.

(Boys and a kite)
Artist Life
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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