Cooler Than Your Five Panel

If you like those trendy new hats that stretches an image across multiple panels around your head, then you'll these Japanese paints done across panels as well. Also known as Byōbu, which means "wind wall", are folding screens made of wood and paper, that art painted and used to separate parts of a home or room.

Maple Viewers, Kano Hideyori, 16th century, From the collection of: Tokyo National Museum
This piece here, by Kano Hideyori, is a prime example of a Byōbu. In it, you can see the distinctly Japanese style, also you can see multiple scenes painted, that would have different meanings.
Autumn Leaves, Yokoyama Taikan, 1931, From the collection of: Adachi Museum of Art
Done by Yokoyama Taikan, in the 1930's, which makes it the most modern byōbu in this collection. Not only is it the newest, at twelve panels, "Autumn Leaves" is also the largest, and brightest one.
Merrymaking Under the Cherry Blossoms, Kano Naganobu, Edo period, 17th century, From the collection of: Tokyo National Museum
What I really find enjoyable about Kano Naganobu's work here, is all the stories going on in it. This piece would have been made for a family, then painted little pieces of history into it.
Battle Scenes of Genji and Heishi at Ichi-no-tani, Kanō Yoshinobu, 17th century, From the collection of: Kobe City Museum
Kanō Yoshinobu's "Battle Scenes of Genji and Heishi at Ichi-no-tani" is exactly what it sounds like, it is a byōbu beautifully painted to commemorate a battle.
In this piece, by Tawaraya Sotatsu, you'll see a very different to color and shape. He used unrealistic colors for the scene, and his shapes are very free form, and abstract.
Toto Ryogokubashi kawabiraki han'ei no zu, Artist: Utagawa Kunisada, early 19th-mid 19th century, From the collection of: National Museum of Asian Art
In this work, by Utagawa Kunisada, you will see a elegant celebration, with fire works, women in Kimono, and many ships. It simply displays Japanese culture, and you can get changed behind it.
Ukiyo-e print by Kitagawa Utamaro of a hunting party, Kitagawa Utamaro, circa 1790 AD, From the collection of: Royal Ontario Museum
Kitagawa Utamaro's work here is from a woodblock print, and as stated in the name of the piece, it is in the "Ukiyo-e" style, which means, "Picture of the floating world."
Our forces occupy Ryuko Island, Artist: Kobayashi Kiyochika, Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi, 1895.3, From the collection of: National Museum of Asian Art
"Our forces occupy Ryuko Island" is from the master war painter, Kobayashi Kiyochika. This painting is an example of how people in Japan would have gotten news about the war efforts of the times.
Yoshitsune And Benkei, Artist: Ogata Gekko, 1905.4.1, From the collection of: National Museum of Asian Art
This piece here interesting, because it is painted across three pieces of paper, laid out perfectly to be a byōbu, but it simply isn't, thus it's removing the practical use, making it just art.
The Actor Onoue Kikugorô As Tenjiku Tokubee, Artist: Toyohara Kunichika, 1891, From the collection of: National Museum of Asian Art
Kunichika shows a man, who is some sort of warrior, standing in front of a giant toad, which is a common this in the Japanese culture. But more interesting to me, is the fact the man is an actor.
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