Anonymous (Ca. 1630)
Anonymous (Ca. 1630)

Scenes In and Around Osaka

Anonymous (Ca. 1630)
Scenes In and Around Osaka
Pair of eight-panel screens; ink, color, gold and gold leaf on paper
34¼ x 140½in. (88.5 x 356.2cm.) each (2)
Kobe City Museum, Kobe, "Tokubetsuten Momoyama jidai no sairei to yuraku" (Special exhibition: Festivals and amusements in the Momoyama period), 1986.1.15--2.23

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, Hyogo, "Tokubetsuten jokaku o egaku--genjitsu to genso no kozu" (Special exhibition: Painted castles-- Compositions of the real and ideal), 1998.4.18--6.7

"Edo-ki no Osaka ikiki: Jokazu byobu hakken kanzen na katachi de" (Edo-period Osaka comings and goings: Discovery of a complete pair of screens of the area around the castle) Yomiuri shinbun [Yomiuri newspaper] (1985.12.20, evening ed.).

Kobe City Museum, ed., Tokubetsuten Momoyama jidai no sairei to yuraku (Kobe: Kobeshi supotsu kyoiku kosha, 1986), pl. 14.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, ed., Tokubetsuten jokaku o egaku --genjitsu to genso no kozu (Hyogo: Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, 1998), pl. I-30.
Sale room notice
Please note the correct materials are: Ink,color,silver,gold and gold leaf on paper.

Lot Essay

This is probably the oldest example of a complete pair of screens of this rare subject.

The right scene is a view of Osaka Castle from the northwest. From left to right we see Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, Minami no mido (Nanba betsuin), Kita no mido (Tsumura betsuin) and Sumiyoshi Shrine with its arched bridge.

The castle built by the Momoyama-period warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) in Osaka was destroyed in the battle that took place there in the summer of 1615. In that same year Matsudaira Tadaaki became lord of the castle. He rebuilt the castle between the years 1620-28 but altered the tower and outer walls. Shops and houses shown on the screen were originally inside the castle walls, an indication that the painting must postdate 1628. It is difficult, however, to use the castle tower as a means of dating the screen. The Yokobori River and its nine bridges, including Ima Bridge and Korai Bridge, are shown. Shops include a money changer, a fan shop, and a vendor of prints and printed books. There is an itinerant etoki on the bridge explicating the content of a painting. Elsewhere we see street vendors, blind biwa chanters and children fighting. There is a kabuki performance behind Kita no mido and the Southern Festival (Minami matsuri) is in progress at Sumiyoshi Shrine.

The river at the center of the left screen is probably the Yodo River, an important transportation route linking Kyoto and Osaka. If it is indeed the Yodo River, the shrine at the bottom center may be the Tenma Tenjin Shrine and the bridge at the far right either the Tenma Bridge or the Tenjin Bridge. The pagoda at the extreme upper left is probably Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine in the south of the city. There is a large boat transporting rice on the river. On the opposite shore are travelers heading to Kyoto and buildings that look like the pleasure quarters, although they do not show many signs of activity.

These screens must date from the late 1620s or early 1630s.

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