About the Works

Namban Screens

Kano Naizen

  • 「Namban Screens」 Kano Naizen
  • 「Namban Screens」 Kano Naizen

These images are based on the high resolution facsimile produced by the Tsuzuri Project. Unauthorized copying, duplication, or transfer of these images is strictly prohibited.

Kano Naizen
Historical era:
Azuchi-Momoyama (16th to 17th century)
printed, gold on washi paper
Pair of six-fold screens
High Resolution Facsimile of Historical Cultural Assets
Each screen H154.5 × W363.2 cm
Kobe City MuseumMAP
Current owner:
Kobe City Museum
ink, color and gold on washi paper

Kano Naizen was the son of a vassal to Araki Murashige, lord of the Itami castle at Settsu, who was later overthrown by Oda Nobunaga. Kano became an apprentice painter under Shoei Kano, and eventually became the imperial house painter of the Toyotomi family. Namban (Barbarians from the South) screens were painted quite frequently during the period of Momoyama and Edo. This work is one of the best masterpieces of that time. The right screen (shown below) shows traded goods being unloaded on Japanese shores, and the Captain General proceeding through a merchant district toward a Christian temple. The screen on the left shows ships leaving port against an exotic backdrop that appears to go beyond imagination.

About the Works