About the Works

Cooling off

Kusumi Morikage

  • 「Cooling off」 Kusumi Morikage

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.

Kusumi Morikage
Historical era:
Edo (17th century)
printed on washi paper
two-fold screen
High Resolution Facsimile of Historical Cultural Assets
H149.1 × W165.6 cm
National Institutes for Cultural HeritageMAP
Current owner:
Tokyo National Museum
ink, light color on washi paper

The painter of this screen, Kusumi Morikage (dates unknown), studied under Kano Tanyu — hailed as a second Kano Eitoku — and ranked among his four star pupils. But he left the Kano school because of a family scandal, it is said, and was later patronized by the Maeda clan, the rulers of Kaga domain.
This painting, one of Morikage’s most famous works and a designated National Treasure, lyrically depicts a humble scene from everyday life: a peasant family of three enjoying the evening cool beneath the full moon as they relax on a straw mat under a calabash-vine arbor. The scene is believed to have been inspired by the following verse of Kinoshita Choshoshi, a poet of the early Edo Period.

Cooling off under the blooming moonflower trellis,
Man in his loincloth,
Woman in her waistcloth.

About the Works