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Iemitsu's drawings


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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If you are interested in the lesser-known facets of Tokugawa Iemitsu's personality, you should head to Fuchu Art Museum.

Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun, is infamous for implementing Japan's version of "splendid isolation" and his severe persecution of the Christian faith. In his spare time, however, he indulged in ink paintings:

Iemitsu enjoyed painting and sometimes gave his works to retainers, museum officials said. Less than 10 drawings by Iemitsu survive. They are all executed in a simple style, according to Nobuhisa Kaneko, curator of the museum. “I cannot tell if Iemitsu intentionally painted badly, but it was his style,” Kaneko said.

“Horned Owl” depicts a bird with an innocent-looking facial expression. It has been stored at Yogenji temple in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. “Rabbit” was discovered in Kyoto several years ago. It depicts a hairy animal perched on a stump with big black eyes. The drawing is mounted on a hanging scroll with a crest of hollyhock that symbolizes the Tokugawa clan. It was kept in a heavy box and handed down through generations with great care.

Source: Rare but ‘poor’ drawings by 3rd shogun to be shown in Tokyo:The Asahi Shimbun



The exhibition will open on March 16 and close on May 12., 2019.
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