About the Works

Amusements at the Dry Riverbed, Shijo

  • Amusements at the Dry Riverbed, Shijo
  • Amusements at the Dry Riverbed, Shijo

Photograph © 2023 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Reproduced with permission.
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.

Historical era:
Edo (17th century)
printed, gold on washi paper
Pair of six-fold screens
High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
Each screen H103.9 x W289.2 cm
National Institutes for Cultural HeritageMAP
Current owner:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
ink, color, and gold on washi paper

With the opening of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century, the center of politics shifted from Kyoto to Edo, but Kyoto remained a center of culture where various performing arts flourished. This work depicts the scenery of Shijogawara, Kyoto's downtown area, with the Kamo River at its center, where many people still come and go. Along Shijo Street, which crosses the center of the screens, temporary playhouses and freak shows stand side by side. The bustling life of the time is vividly depicted: on the upper side, female and young male kabuki, puppet theater, and sumo wrestling; on the lower side, rare animals such as tigers and porcupines, and dog acrobatics. Several works similar to this one depicting Shijogawara are surviving in Japan and abroad, but this one is known as the most detailed of them all.

About the Works