The World of Men and Animals

Historical period(s)
Kamakura period, 14th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W (image): 146.2 x 55.5 cm (57 9/16 x 21 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Japan, kakemono, Kamakura period (1185 - 1333)

Mr. Kawahara, Osaka [1]

To 1904
Yamanaka & Company, to 1904 [2]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1904 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] According to a note from the Original Kakemono List (see Curatorial Remark 3, in the object record).

[2] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Kakemono List, L. 492, pg. 137, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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)

Mr. Kawahara
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


Represented here and in the painting The World of Devas (F1904.342), are parts of the Six Realms of Existence into which living beings may be reborn according to Buddhist beliefs. In this painting are the worlds of men and animals, which correspond closely to the natural world of human experience. Nonetheless, according to Buddhist ideas, that realm is governed by illusion, desire, and sorrow. Hunting and other acts that involve oppression and destruction of one living being by another are illustrated here. This painting, like F1904.342, was created to give tangible form to complex Buddhist ideas regarding illusion, attachment, and rebirth.

Published References
  • Toru Shimbo. Rokudo-e (Pictures of Rokudo). Tokyo. figs. 64-65.
  • Kokuho Rokudo-e., Fall 2007. .
  • Ogushi Sumio. New Materials for the Study of Paintings of Rokudo. no. 753. pp. 372-393, pls. 6-7.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

Related Objects