momijigari 紅葉狩
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. hunting for maple leaves. The traditional pastime of viewing autumn foliage in the mountains. The term dates back at least to the 10c when parties of Heian aristocrats are recorded enjoying the autumn season by boating, composing poetry and collecting brightly colored leaves. The *Tatsutagawa 竜田川 area near Nara and the *Ogurayama 小倉山 and Arashiyama 嵐山 areas near Kyoto were famous for their autumn foliage and often alluded to in waka 和歌 poems and painting. MOMIJIGARI is also the title of a *nou 能 play which relates the story of Taira no Koremochi 平維茂 and his encounter with the demon of Togakushiyama 戸隠山 in the guise of a beautiful woman. As a pictorial subject, the theme is often depicted in painting of the category of the four seasons *shiki-e 四季絵 or of genre scenes *fuuzokuga 風俗画. A famous example is the screen painting of Maple Viewing at Mt. Takao, Takao kanpuu-zu 高雄観楓図 (Tokyo National Museum) attributed to Kanou Hideyori 狩野秀頼 (fl. 1565-76). The subject was also frequently included as an obvious indicator of the autumn season in *yamato-e やまと絵, screen paintings, and is a common subject in *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 prints and paintings.


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