shokunin zukushi-zu 職人尽図
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Illustrations of people of various occupations in their work shops, which became popular in the Momoyama and early Edo periods. They exist in various formats, such as albums *gajou 画帖, handscrolls, or printed books, by the artists of the Tosa and Kanou schools *Tosaha 土佐派 and *Kanouha 狩野派. Paintings of people in various occupations first appeared at the end of Kamakura period in the handscroll format *emaki 絵巻 as "Illustrations of A Poetry Competition among People of Various Occupations" shokunin utaawase-e 職人歌合絵 (see *utaawase-e 歌合絵). However, in the strict sense of the term, shokunin zukushi-zu is applied only to paintings without literary content produced in the Momoyama and early Edo periods. While the people in the paintings of shokunin poetry contest are depicted with the garb and tools of his/her occupation without any background, shokunin zukushi-zu show people in their working environment. A similar type of depiction in which workers and artisans are depicted in an architectural setting is found in screens of "The Scenes In and Around the Capital" *rakuchuu rakugai-zu 洛中洛外図 popular from the 16c to 18c. The earliest and most characteristic shokunin zukushi-zu are work is picture-pasted folding screens *oshi-e 押絵 done by Kanou Yoshinobu 狩野吉信 (1552-1640) in Kita-in 喜多院, Saitama prefecture. It is believed that the 24 pictures now pasted on the screens were originally in an album. The shops depicted in the screens include: Buddhist sculptors; umbrella makers; armour makers; paper mounters; blade polishers; dye workers; weavers and lacquer makers.


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