Handscroll; ink and color on paper
Overall: 29.2 cm (11 1/2 in.); Painting only: 25.9 x 1310.6 cm (10 3/16 x 516 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1987.194
The matchmaking, engagement, wedding, and birth of the first child of two apparitions, or bakemono, literally "things that change," are illustrated in this whimsical, humorous handscroll. Japanese folklore abounds with such strange creatures, most famously represented in handscrolls featuring a procession of 100 supernatural monsters. Aside from a textual preface and cartouches indicating the content of the scenes, the tale is told visually. The artist and whereabouts of the original handscroll are unknown, but a number of other 19th-century copies by amateur painters exist in Japanese collections, attesting to its broad appeal.
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