Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


Rakuchū-rakugai-zu byōbu (folding screen of Kyoto)
in 16th century : A study on Tokyo national museum
copy version and “Asakura version”

KOJIMA, Michihiro

(Professor of The Graduate University for Advanced Studies,
School of Cultural and Social Studies, Department of Japanese History)

Key words:

Rakuchū-rakugai-zu byōbu (folding screen of Kyoto), portraits, ceremomies, Muromachi bakufu, Asakura family, Hosokawa family, Miyoshi family, Kano Motonobu, Tosa Mitsunobu

There are four versions of Rakuchū-rakugai-zu byōbu (folding screen of Kyoto) known as early type, or made in 16th century.

  1. Rekihaku(National Museum of Japanese History) A version 1525 Kano Motonobu
  2. TNM(Tokyo National Museum)copy version 1540s pupil of Kano Motonobu
  3. Uesugi version 1565 Kano Eitoku
  4. Rekihaku B version 1580s pupil of Kano Syoei

The first theme of this article is to clarify the purpose of TNM copy version. This version represents the Kyoto under the rule of Hosokawa Harumoto, who’s base was Awa(now Tokushima prefecture). And we can find some particular images related to branch of Hosokawa family and Miyoshi family in Awa. Therefore, we can identify the person who ordered this picture to some follower of Hosokawa Harumoto in Awa. There are images what the person who live in Awa wants to find in the picture of Kyoto, for example their ancestor family’s house, but they are not necessarily correct or not existed in actual Kyoto at that time.

The second theme of this article “Asakra version” is the picture known in a record on 1506, ordered by Asakura family in Echizen (now Fukui prefecture), and known as the first Rakuchū-rakugai-zu byōbu. The author try to show its composition and contents. Before this picture, there are Tsukinami-sairei-zu byōbu (folding screens of monthly ceremonies in Kyoto). Rakuchū-rakugai-zu byōbu was invented by adapting this picture to the topography of Kyoto. In this process, some new images are invented, for example the cockfighting at the residence of Shiba family.

Recentry, the auther clarified the purpose of Rekihaku A version by identifying the names of the portraits in the painting, and found the main theme of this picture is the prosperity of Hosokawa family. But in Rekihaku A version, there are some images not proper to this theme, as cockfighting at the residence of Shiba family. We can regard them as remains from the “Asakura version”. All the Rakuchū-rakugai-zu represents the landscape of Kyoto, so we can regard them as copies from earlier versions, and distinguish new images from the remains of the former versions. By applying this method to Rekihaku A version and other early versions, we can see the outline of“Asakura version”.