A Shinto Priest, Three Women and a Child

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai θ‘›ι£ΎεŒ—ζ–Ž (1760 - 1849)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1799-1801
Ukiyo-e School
Ink, gold, and color on paper
H x W (overall): 175 x 179 cm (68 7/8 x 70 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Screen (two-panel)

child, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, pine tree, priest, Shinto, tree, ukiyo-e, woman

To 1904
Bunshichi Kobayashi (circa 1861-1923), Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Yokohama, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunshichi Kobayashi in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Screen List, L. 93, pg. 26, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919
Bunshichi Kobayashi (C.L. Freer source) circa 1861 - 1923


This painting depicts a Shinto priest blessing young women who bear iron cooking pots perched on their heads. One leads a robust young child by the hand. The festival, in which young women carry pots upon their heads, was probably performed at the Tsukuma Shrine in the Omi region around Lake Biwa, to the east of Kyoto. The painting combines strong, expressive brushwork, seen in the representation of the tree and its foliage, with clear, detailed rendering of the figures, their gestures, and their colorful costumes.

Published References
  • et. al. Nikuhitsu Ukiyo-e. 10 vols., Tokyo. no. 21.
  • Zaigai hiho (Japanese Paintings in Western Collections). 3 vols., Tokyo. pl. 86.
  • Harold P. Stern Narasaki Muneshige. Ukiyo-e shuka. vol. 16, Tokyo. pl. 52.
  • Harold P. Stern. Hokusai: Paintings and Drawings in the Freer Gallery of Art. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 9, p. 19.
  • Ann Yonemura et al. Hokusai: Volume Two. Exh. cat. Washington, 2006. cat. 28, p. 30, 53.
  • Kobayashi Tadashi. Hokusai's Beauty. Ukiyoe Gallery series, vol. 2. pp. 58, 65.
  • Ann Yonemura. Hokusai: Volume One. Exh. cat. Washington, 2006. cat. 131, pp. 202-203.
  • Harold P. Stern. Ukiyo-e Painting. Exh. cat. Washington and Baltimore, 1973. cat. 88, pp. 240-241.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum