Kin-ki-sho-ga, Kokē sanshō-zu, Shōshō-hakkē


Set of three scrolls
Attributed to Kanō Naonobu (Shōē) (1519-1592)
L:44.7 H: 138.2

Kanō Shōei was the 4th-generation chief of the Kanō school. The Kanō school had been the most privileged and celebrated school of Japanese painting for 400 years. The school system had been established in 15th century by Kanō Masanobu (1434-1530) who served for the Ashikaga shogunate. It was a professional group of painters who worked for the people in power of the time. Each generation maintained and polished the hereditary technique and the style by copying the old masterpieces.
These scrolls clop three different theme of Chinese paintings. The right scroll depicts one of the four accomplishments of literati; kin-ki-sho-ga琴棋書画, the scene that aristocrats enjoy the Chinese zither.
The middle one is Kokē sanshō-zu虎渓三笑図: Three Laughers of Tiger Ravine, the story of Buddhist Huiyuan (334–416) in the Six Dynasties era. When Huiyuan decided to seclude himself over the Tiger Ravine in the mountain Lushan, he swore never to cross the stone bridge of Tiger Ravine again. One day the poet Tao Yuanming (365–427) and the Taoist Lu Xiujing(406-477) visited him. Having had a good day with them, Huiyuan sent them off. However, having a good chat on the way, Huiyuan happened to cross the bridge. Then, all of them laughed. And they said farewell.
The left one is the scenes of Shōshō-hakkē蕭湘八景, The Eight Views of Xiaoxiang. There are three sceneries, empokihan遠浦帰帆, enjibanshō遠寺晩鐘, gyosonyūshō漁村夕照.

On the box
“Shōē hitsu”
painted by Shōē
“Na Naonobu, Motonobu no dai sanshi, Jo Hōgen no kurai”
the name is Naonobu, the third son of Motonobu, honoured as Hōgen

Backside of the box
“Miyoshi Sasuke”
(probably the name of ex-owner)