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Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, gold, and gold leaf on paper
Overall: 51.1 x 208.9 cm (20 1/8 x 82 1/4 in.)
The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.279
Much smaller in size than standard Japanese folding screens, this lively pair depicts all manner of entertainments. Although at first they seem to show an ongoing festival, closer examination reveals that the screens comprise a series of isolated scenes from disparate occasions. In one screen, crowds gather around a bout of sumo wrestling as well as juggling and balancing acts. Elsewhere, teams of men pull a float bearing musicians costumed in foreign dress. There is also a dance circle with drums, a performing monkey, and a party of falconers. In the other screen, male courtiers observe a game of kickball played by noblemen, while their female counterparts watch from behind bamboo curtains. Others enjoy a theater performance. A children’s dance circle and a dance performance with ladies sporting elaborate headgear occupy the center of the screen. A group wielding huge parasols at the upper left of the screen reenacts episodes from legend, as still other performances, including dancing dogs, entertain the crowds below.
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