On a Prayer Visit/Spring Day

Ikeda Shōen

Fukuda Art Museum

Fukuda Art Museum
Kyoto, Japan

The right panel, On a Prayer Visit(Mono Mōde), was missing for 114 years and then rediscovered. The girl under the umbrella is on her way to express gratitude for growing into a healthy young woman . Dressed for the occasion with her hair arranged in a Shimada topknot, decorated with elaborately crafted hair ornaments and combs, she also has a thick layer of expensive red color on her lower lip. Having led a sheltered life, this is the first time for her to venture out on a ‘pilgrimage’ with a companion. Nervous and anxious, she has a tight grasp on the hand of her servant, who continues to shelter her with the umbrella. Her gorgeously patterned furisode kimono seems still to be a little large for her slender body. Her innocence is emphasized by the way she wears the sleeves gathered up at the shoulders. A masterpiece of Shōen’s early career, this work beautifully depicts an adorable girl on the threshold of adulthood . At the inaugural Bunten Exhibition in 1907, it was awarded the third prize.


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