Figures Viewing Cherry Blossoms
Color on paper
This scroll is far removed from the high
court culture associated with Tale of Genji imagery, but
the seasonal imagery, in this case spring, is no less important.
Hanami, or "flower viewing," was and still is
a favorite springtime activity in Japan. As this scroll reveals,
the appearance of cherry blossoms was an occasion for much celebration.
Throngs of people gather to enjoy the blossoms and their fragrance
while vendors in temporary stalls sell food and drink of various
Genre painting, which takes scenes of everyday
life as its subject, demanded special skills of the artist. Nobuyoshi
successfully captures the gaiety of the season, and this festival
in particular, through his lively and decorative use of bright
colors. He also demonstrates thorough knowledge of the popular
hairstyles and fashions of the time. With festival imagery such
as this, it was important that the artist represent people of
all classes, ages, and occupations. Nobuyoshi's painting is particularly
successful on this point.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ackland Fund; 84.39.1