Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room T1
July 17, 2013 (Wed) - August 25, 2013 (Sun)
Handscrolls of calligraphy or painting, including illustrated scrolls, have long, oblong surfaces formed from sheets of paper pasted together with glue. However, over the years, some ancient scrolls have separated into individual pieces as the glue has weakened, while others have been intentionally cut into sections for use as hanging scrolls installed in the alcoves of tea ceremony rooms.
In Japan, segments of ancient illustrated scrolls are sometimes changed from their original handscroll form into hanging scrolls for adorning walls. There are many examples of these segments where it is now unclear which part of which illustrated tale they originally came from. Nevertheless, because these segments have been carefully preserved, people can still enjoy looking at them today.
By displaying works mainly from the Tokyo National Museum collection, this exhibition introduces segments of illustrated handscrolls on five different themes. By comparing the works, which include illustrated scrolls that were formerly one work, segments that have become hanging scrolls, and copies of scrolls made before they were broken up, visitors can see how illustrated scrolls have been carefully preserved for future generations.
During this exhibition, there are also superb examples of handscroll segments on display in Room 3 (Buddhist art and courtly art) of the Honkan.