Title: Events of the Four Seasons and Taro, the Peach Boy
Handscroll: ink and colors on paper
Dimensions: Image: 10 3/4 x 247 3/4 inches (27.3 x 629.3 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Baekeland
Gyosai gained admiration as one of the outstanding artists of the Meiji period for his fine draftsmanship, strong compositions and penchant for grotesque humor. His passion for sketching from life is especially evident in this handscroll, in which there is an emphasis on the comic.
Shown here are scenes that convey seasonal references. Beginning at the right, a man chases a dog that carries a mackerel, an emblem of spring, in its mouth. Then comes a scene of two gesticulating oni, or demons, teasing their traditional enemy, Shoki, the demon queller, as he sleeps. Images of Shoki are favored for the New Year. In the third scene, a group of children plays with origami, folded paper figures, mimicking activities associated with the Bon festival, when the spirits of the ancestors are invited to return home.
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.