Japan is a land rich in natural beauty and blessed with four distinct seasons. The Japanese sense of the changing seasons has led to the creation of paintings such as meisho-e in which the seasons and times of the year are linked with place names used in poetry known as utamakura, as well as tsukinami-e depicting activities associated with the months of the year. Ukiyo-e, which gained prominence in the Edo period, also portray annual events and aspects of the seasons familiar to common people.
This exhibition showcases works expressing seasonal moods. Horse Race at Kamo Shrine is a lively depiction of an annual event in May, giving an insight into peopleʼs customs. In addition to a painting of a woman reading whilst listening to the sound of an insect and another of two beautiful women drinking chrysanthemum sake at the Chrysanthemum Festival in September, the exhibition also features the Spring and Autumn Rural District Manners and Customs of Asaoka Okisada, which is a designated tangible cultural property of Togane City. We hope that you will take this opportunity to enjoy these scenes from life in each season.
Suzuki Harunobu, Six Tama Rivers: The Tama River in Kōya, chūban full-color woodblock print, c.1767
Miyagawa Chōshun, Genre Scenes in Edo, detail, color on silk, two scrolls, 1716-1736
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Thirty-two Aspects of Manners and Customs: Happy, ōban full-color woodblock print, 1888