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bokudou bokugyuu@qq
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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Lit. herdboy and ox. Ch: mutong muniu. A Chinese painting theme long popular in Japanese ink painting. The subject originated in China where the pastoral life of the herdboy represented the ideal life, a life in retirement away from worldly cares. The subject of herdboys and oxen is also related to the Zen theme of the "Ten Bulls," *juugyuu \, which similarly features young herdboys and oxen but as an allegory for stages of enlightenment. Bokudou bokugyuu was often painted by artists connected to the Song court academy, as represented by the pair of late 12c hanging scrolls by Li Di (Jp: Ri Teki ) in the Yamato Bunkakan a؊, Nara. Japanese artists began painting the theme in the Muromachi period, and artists concerned with Chinese subjects continued to depict the subject through the Edo period. The pair of scrolls attributed to Bunsei (fl. 15c) in the Drucker collection, Los Angeles, are fairly typical of Muromachi versions of the subject, while the hanging scroll by Okada Beisanjin cĎRl (1744-1820) in the Yabumoto collection is a good example of Edo period reinterpretation of the theme. The herdboy and ox subject appears in several sub-types: herdboy leading an ox and playing the flute, outeki bokugyuu Jq; ox crossing water, tosui bokugyuu nq; herdboy playing the flute and returning home on an ox, bokuteki kigyuu qJA; and herdboy and ox resting (usually sleeping), bokudou gagyuu q狍. In addition, there are paintings of oxen grazing (without herdboys), bokuya q, as well as herdboys (without oxen) releasing birds from cages, bokudou houchou q.
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