About the Works

Namban Ships and Chinese Junks

Kano Takanobu

  • 「Namban Ship and Chinese Junk」 Kano Takanobu
  • 「Namban Ship and Chinese Junk」 Kano Takanobu

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 Takanobu
Historical era:
Azuchi-Momoyama-Edo (17th century)
printed, gold on washi paper
pair of six-fold screens
High Resolution Facsimile of Historical Cultural Assets
Each screen H158.5 × W362.6 cm
National Institutes for Cultural HeritageMAP
Current owner:
Kyushu National Museum
ink, color, and gold on washi paper

More than ninety sets of folding screens depicting scenes of commerce with the Portuguese and other “Southern Barbarians” (Namban) who visited Japan in the Momoyama period and the early Edo Period have been identified in Japan and abroad. This work is unusual among them because the left screen shows a port in China. It is thus of great value in that it is rooted in an earlier artistic tradition of depicting trade between Japan and China. Both screens portray the characters, the ships’ cargos, and the other subject matter in great detail and variety, suggesting the hustle and bustle of a contemporary Japanese or Chinese port town. Although not signed or sealed, the painting can for stylistic reasons be attributed to Kano Takanobu (1571-1618), the second son of Kano Eitoku.

About the Works