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Ogi no soshi

The paintings on folding fans are works of art that their owners can enjoy privately, whenever and wherever they choose. With the folding fan — a canvas on which carefully selected images could readily be applied and shared — it was particularly easy to depict a specific scene from a long tale. By attaching fan paintings to folding screens or collecting them in albums of paintings, people could savor the entire story. The motifs chosen with care to suit the small plane have much in common with waka poetry, which expresses its subject in a limited number of syllables. That connection led, in the late Muromachi period (1336-1573), to the development of what are called ogi no soshi, “fan-shaped paintings with waka poems,” a genre with puzzle-solving elements in which waka poems were guessed at based on the paintings on folding fans.

Also in this collection

Also in this room