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Frolicking Animals: Behind the Scenes

Frolicking Animals: Behind the Scenes / Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Rooms T1, T2 and 14   March 23, 2021 (Tue) - June 6, 2021 (Sun)

 Image of "Hare, China, Tang dynasty, 8th century (Gift of Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke)" 
Hare, China, Tang dynasty, 8th century (Gift of Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke)

The National Treasure Frolicking Animals is a light-hearted series of four illustrated handscrolls depicting animals behaving like people. Created in the 12th and 13th centuries, the scrolls have been preserved and passed down by Kōsan-ji Temple in Kyoto. The Museum is holding a special exhibition entitled National Treasure: Frolicking Animals (April 13–May 31, 2021 in the Heiseikan building), in which all four original scrolls are on display. This smaller, thematic exhibition is meant to complement that exhibition.

Opening the exhibition, Room 14 displays a wide variety of works that illustrate how animals were depicted in art leading up to the creation of the scrolls Frolicking Animals. The next room, Room T1, presents similar works focusing on the second, third, and fourth scrolls. The final room, Room T2, focuses on the first scroll, the most famous among the four that make up Frolicking Animals, and offers close-up looks at selected scenes.

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Hare, China, Tang dynasty, 8th century (Gift of Dr. Yokogawa Tamisuke)
Perfumed-Oil Bottle (Aryballos) in the Shape of a Hare, Reportedly found in Greece, First half of 6th century BC (Gift of Mr. Tanimura Keisuke)
Frolicking Animals, Vol. 1 (Copy), Copied by Yamazaki Kunzen, Meiji era, 19th century
Scaled Copy of a Ceremonial Valance with Mythical Beasts, Copied by Yoshida Seihō, colored by Morita Kametarō, Copied in 1915, colored in 1916
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