unsigned; from the Saga Palace, Kyoto; three figures working in rice field, ULC; two figures in another field, LRC

Spring [center left from the set Rice Farming in the Four Seasons], 1620s

These sliding door panels are part of a group of sixteen, which originally formed the four sides of a small reception chamber at Daikakuji, a Buddhist temple in northwest Kyoto. The paintings show the process of rice cultivation across four seasons. A person seated in the room would have seen the scene unfold from north, beginning with winter and moving clockwise. Spring, the second in order, would have been on the eastern side.

Rice cultivation was a common subject in Chinese painting, meant to remind the ruler to appreciate the work of the people and to govern them well. Daikakuji had a strong connection to the imperial family: only imperial princes could serve as abbot (head) of the temple, and many emperors used it as their residence after abdicating and becoming monks themselves.

Details
Title
Spring [center left from the set Rice Farming in the Four Seasons]
Artist Life
1559 - 1635
Role
Artist
Accession Number
81.1.6
Provenance
Take no ma, Shōshinden, Daikakuji, Kyoto until 1755, then Ōoka Shunboku; Joseph U. Seo (until 1981)
Curator Approved

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unsigned; from the Saga Palace, Kyoto; three figures working in rice field, ULC; two figures in another field, LRC