tooshiya-zu  通し矢図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Pictures of the archery competition held on the 33-bay-long (394 ft) verandah of Sanjuusangendou 三十三間堂 (Rengeouin 蓮華王院) in Kyoto. Archery competitions were a popular pastime from the Heian period; the contest held in the imperial palace is depicted in the *nenjuu gyouji 年中行事 scrolls (original mid-12c). This Sanjuusangendou archery contest achieved great popularity in the first decades of the 17c with archers from the entire country competing. Extant examples of the tooshiya-zu, a type of genre painting *fuuzokuga 風俗画, also date from the early 17c. The Sanjuusangendou archery contest is depicted in the *rakuchuu rakugai-zu 洛中洛外図 in the Tokyo National Museum (Funaki 舟木 version, ca. 1615). As with many other scenes in and around Kyoto, tooshiya soon became an independent pictorial subject, such as seen on a six-panel screen in the Itsuou 逸翁 Art Museum, Osaka, which likely was paired originally with another theme of warrior activities. Typical of tooshiya-zu compositions, this picture shows archers kneeling on the verandah of the Sanjuusangendou and firing arrow at a target located at the far end of the building. A large crowd of spectators watch from the ground.


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