Stories in Japanese Art
Japan is known today for anime and manga (animations and graphic novels) and has a long tradition of storytelling in the visual arts. This gallery explores Japanese narrative art with diverse examples from the 1300s to the 1900s. The majority of the works include text elements, from a chapter title done in raised gold lacquer on a writing box to poems or dialogue inscribed next to figures in ink on handscroll fragments. A pair of screens features long anecdotes in loose calligraphy with capping illustrations. Another handscroll contains written passages preceding painted scenes peppered with conversation. These works demonstrate some of the different ways Japanese artists have combined visual imagery with written stories over the centuries.