Dog-Chasing Game (inu-o-mono)

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Medium
Ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 155.8 x 363.8 cm (61 5/16 x 143 1/4 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1972.8-9
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Screens (six-panel)

Keywords
court, dog, Edo period (1615 - 1868), game playing, horse, Japan, playing, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The archery skill of the Japanese mounted warrior was honed in the exercise of dog chasing (inu-o-mono). Warriors and their steeds formed the outer of two concentric circles. Dogs were released within the inner circle and shot at with round-headed, blunt arrows that caused no serious injury.

Since the late twelfth century, successful Japanese military strategists emphasized the importance of a well-trained cavalry over the more traditional use of massive infantry force. Dog chasing was especially popular in the fifteenth century, a time of increasing civil unrest. Interest in the games was renewed in the mid-seventeenth century, after the general pacification of the country under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate.

During much of the Edo period (1615-1868) there were few calls to arms, and the dog-chasing game took on the ritual, festive quality depicted in these paintings.

Published References
  • Keiko Kawamoto. Nihon byobue shusei. 18 vols., Tokyo, 1977-1982. vol. 12: pl. 72.
  • Harold P. Stern. Ukiyo-e Painting: Freer Gallery of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition. Exh. cat. Washington and Baltimore, 1973. cat. 5, pp. 14-17.
  • Donald F. Gibbons, Dorothy Shepherd Payer, Katharine C. Ruhl. Techniques of Silversmithing in the Hormizd Plate. vol. 11 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 27-38.
  • Julia Murray. A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980. Exh. cat. Washington, 1979. cat. 51, p. 68.
  • Unknown title. vol. 27 New York and Honolulu, 1973-1974. pp. 97-98, fig. 18.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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