By Elizabeth Lillehoj
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Extra resources for Art and Palace Politics in Early Modern Japan, 1580s-1680s (Japanese Visual Culture)
170 x 461 cm. Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo. National Treasure. The full thematic range of paintings at GoYōzei’s palace is unknown. While these paintings can be related to a group of themes by then traditional in the imperial palace and shogunal castles or mansions, new themes also began to appear around this time. Most apparent, perhaps, are the Twentyfour Paragons, a subject only recently arrived from China, most likely in the form of printed didactic texts. The subject had been known in China for some time; the Yuan-dynasty text Ershisi xiaoxinglu (Records of Filial Piety in Twenty-four Chapters; J: Nijūshishō kōkōroku) contains the stories of the Twenty-four Paragons.
The tree expands in all directions, unconstrained by the boundaries of the composition. The thick, brown trunk bends at two right angles, sending out branches that contort and jut back upon themselves. Green foliage emerges with delicate and spritely energy from the tips of the cypress branches. Black brushwork conveys the rough surface of the bark, which is punctuated by tufts of moss. , Hachijōnomiya Toshihito). Both of these segments were originally on sliding panels and have been remounted on folding screens.
71 Hideyoshi, in his turn, supported the 1584 construction of Ōgimachi’s palace, and about 1589 or 1590 he appointed Maeda Gen’i to manage construction of a new palace for Go-Yōzei. According to Ōmura Yūko’s Tenshō-ki: The retired emperor’s palace had wasted away from of old. Herewith, Asō [Hideyoshi] presented himself at the previous residence of the retired emperor and expressed his wish to reconstruct [the quarters] so that enthronement ceremonies might be carried out and the retired emperor installed in his own palace.
Art and Palace Politics in Early Modern Japan, 1580s-1680s (Japanese Visual Culture) by Elizabeth Lillehoj