Golden Fantasies: Japanese Screens from New York Collections
Asia Society home
Horse Racing at Kamo Shrine and Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine
Edo period (1615–1868), 1660s-1670s
Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on paper
Private collection
Cat. no. 11

The excitement and drama of a day at the races are powerfully conveyed in this pair of screens. On the right are the annual horse races at the Upper Kamo Shrine in Kyoto, depictions of which go back to the twelfth century. On the left is a rare scene of races at Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine, also in Kyoto. The figures are unusually large and give the work a lively sense of animation and activity. Not everyone is attentive to the races, however, and many concentrate rather on the diversions of food, drink, and socializing. There are many amusing incidents, such as the riders who have fallen (or been pushed?) from their horses, the poor fellow being set upon behind the central judges’ pavilion at Kamo, and the brawl in the foreground at Iwashimizu.

Screen 8
The screens will be rotated on April 6, 2004 First rotation Second rotation