In these lively presentations of the outdoor delights of springtime
we see scenes of merry-making, entertainment, feasting, and pilgrimage.
Yoshino, in the right screen, lies to the south of the ancient
capital of Nara in central Japan. It was celebrated in poetry
for its beautiful cherry blossoms set among rolling hills. Itsukushima
Shrine, in the left screen, stands on the island of Miyajima off
the southern coast further to the west. Regarded as one of the
“Three Great Views of Japan” (Nihon sankei),
it is distinctive for its Noh stage and walkways projecting over
the water. Although these panoramic views are of “famous
places,” interest is shown equally in the various activities
on the ground, all set off against richly textured gold-leaf clouds.