Horse Race at the Kamo Shrine

Horse Race at the Kamo Shrine

1615-50

Part of a set. See all set records

Tosa School

(Japanese)

One of a pair of six-panel folding screens, ink and color on gilded paper

Image: 161 x 362 cm (63 3/8 x 142 1/2 in.); Overall: 176.5 x 377.3 cm (69 1/2 x 148 9/16 in.); Closed: 176.5 x 64 x 12.5 cm (69 1/2 x 25 3/16 x 4 15/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1976.95.1

Description

Kamo Shrine in Kyoto, seen in the upper half of the left screen, has held an annual horse race on May 5th since the ninth century. Serving as a snapshot of the festivities, this pair of screens captures nearly 600 people watching the race, beginning at the bottom part of the right screen and continuing to the left. The race is a great spectacle where aristocratic riders cling to their fast and unwieldy mounts. While many of those in attendance seem in rapt attention to the main event, other vignettes depict people engaged in an array of activities. This pair of screens was likely originally part of a group of linked murals.

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