Once upon a time. But… | Ota Chou



“One spring morning, a fisherman finds a beautiful robe hung on a pine branch at Miho-no-Matsubara…” – Thus starts the story of one of the most popular Noh plays, Hagoromo, the Feather Robe. But obviously the fisherman can’t keep the robe because it belongs to the celestial maiden depicted in this scroll. She performs a dance which describes the Palace of the Moon, and praises the beauty of Miho-no-Matsubara – The Miho Pine Grove – in spring. In the end she disappears in the haze, beyond the peak of Mount Fuji.


But what makes this scroll outstanding as a piece of art is something completely different. It is the mounting! – The illusion of a mounting. A complete trompe-l’oeuil. All you see is painted on one piece of fabric.


Ota Chou (1896-1958)

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