Art and Palace Politics in Early Modern Japan, 1580s-1680s by Elizabeth Lillehoj

By Elizabeth Lillehoj

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Important Cultural Property. indd 50 12-07-11 14:17 hideyoshi restores glory to the palace (J: Ōshikyō), who supposedly left the world and ascended into the heavens on the back of a white crane. As mentioned above, the Ohiru-no-ma panels of the Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety and immortals may have been created in the 1580s for the Taimenjo of Ōgimachi’s retirement palace, or in the early 1590s for the Seiryōden of Go-Yōzei’s palace; in either case, they were created for rooms serving formal and public purposes.

Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shōzōkan, Tokyo. indd 57 12-07-11 14:17 art and palace politics 15a Attributed to Kano Eitoku. Scenes from the Tale of Genji, detail of right screen. indd 58 12-07-11 14:18 hideyoshi restores glory to the palace (Mitsushige; ca. 128 At the outset of the early modern period the Tale of Genji and other Heian romantic narratives were still central to elite training in courtly literature. Emperor Go-Yōzei was himself a Genji scholar, a point that will be discussed further.

All along the road there is only the reverberations of the drums. 37 The drummers are absent from the painted version, but the crowd’s reverent attention translates into pictorial terms what Yūko described. In the screens the procession circles around from the upper right, following a clockwise path, and advances toward the cluster of Jurakutei structures in the distance near the center and top of the composition. Hideyoshi’s mansion is portrayed as a fortified precinct, separated from the city by a moat and castle ramparts; the tower of the complex, the three-storey donjon (tenshu) at right, is cut off by the upper border of the composition.

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