Class Project: Japanese 441


Japanimals: Exotic Animal Imports and Streetshows of Early Modern Japan

On Display

December 12, 2019 – June 29, 2020


Auditorium Gallery, level 1

Professor Jack Stoneman’s Japanese 441 class project.

The goal of this exhibit is to introduce the fascinating history of exotic animal imports to Japan. By the seventeenth century, there was a thriving trade in exotic animals, supplied by Dutch and Chinese traders. Some animals went into private collections, and some became street shows. Images of these animals found their way into a number of contexts, such as import records, natural history books, artwork of the bird & flower genre, and so forth. Displays will include items portraying the imported animals, items that show the influence of these exotic animals in later paintings and books, and items that portray street shows.

Group 1: Exotic Animal Imports and Their Influence/appearances in Art/books (Birds)

  1. Shochōrui shasei (c. 1750)
  2. Sō Shiseki gafu (1765)
  3. Birds and plum blossom collaborative painting, c. 1800-1813
  4. Watanabe Shinpo peacocks, c. 1920s-30s
  5. Bunpō gafu, 1824 (image of painting gathering, v 3)
  6. Nagasaki miyage, 1847
  7. Shashin kachō zue, 1805 & 1827
  8. Keinen kachō gafu, 1892
  9. Bird scroll, 1901

Group 2: Ships that Brought Exotic Animals to Japan

  1. Saiyū ryodan, 1794
  2. Nagasaki emaki, 1702
  3. Banpaku zue, c. 1850s

Group 3: Exotic Animal Imports and Their Influence/appearance in Art/books (Leopards and Tigers)

  1. Leopard painting, 1830
  2. Ehon take no haru, 1830
  3. Tiger painting, 18th c.
  4. Tiger painting by Ohara Keizan, c. 1705-1733

Group 4: Misemono (street shows) in Edo-period Books and Scrolls

  1. Miyako meisho zue, 1786
  2. Yamato jinbutsu gafu, 1800
  3. Sumidagawa ryōgan ichiran, 1781