Shohekiga

1. Interior paintings on fusuma or shoji (sliding paper doors) and walls are called shohekiga. These artworks are often seen in the formal zashiki (tatami-mat reception or sitting room with tokonoma alcove for display of artistic works) found in castles and temples.

2. One type of shohekiga is kinpeki shohekiga, a gorgeous painting covered with gold leaf. It is not merely decorative, but a symbol of power. That is why feudal warlords such as Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi introduced it into their castles.

3. More than an art object, kinpeki shohekiga is a spatial element in the zashiki, where rituals of sado (tea ceremony), kado (flower arrangement), and viewing a Japanese garden take place. So if you have a chance, be sure to look not only at the painting, but also at the entire setting.

4. Artworks designated as national treasures are often kept from public viewing. But depending on the time or occasion, you may be able to see some of these masterpieces. Please look into special showings before your visit.

2013-02-13 15:59:52
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