Shell-matching "Evening Faces" (Tale of Genji)

Mikiko Hayashi
Item Number:A7198P
H3/4 W3 D2 1/4in
H1.5 W7 D5.7cm
Yamato-e painting

Yamato-e paintings:
Yamato-e, a genre of Japanese painting, vividly evokes the imperial court in Kyoto during the Heian period ( 794-1185 ) , representing the culture in detail with traditional coloring techniques. So-called “ Japanese style painting, “ as opposed to painting in the Chinese manner. At first used to connote paintings treating native Japanese themes, the term was later used to designate paintings executed in the highly polychromed, detailed style of paintings on Japanese themes produced during the Heian period.

Kaioke ( “ shell buckets “ ) are used for storing the shells used in the game of kai-awase ) “ shell – matching” ). Two identical sets of one hundred eighty shells, were required, each with a different miniature painting on its smooth interior. Clam shells that could easily fit into the palm of the hand were preferred. The paintings were taken from a well – known poetry anthology such as the Kokinwakashû or a populart work of classical literature like the Tale of Genji. One set of shells called the jigai was placed face down before the players, while the shells from the other set the dashigai ( “ played shells “ ) were brought ou face up one at a time so that the painting could be seen. The players then tried to find the matching shell from the jigai pile by turning over these shells alternately one at a time. The player who discovered the shell’s mate would be awarded these shells, and the player with the superior memory and most shells at the end of the game when all the shells had been matched would be declared the winner. This game was particularly popular at New Year’s.
Since each shell had only one suitable match among all the other shells, the kaioke was an especially valued part of a wedding trousseau as a symbol of feminine morality.

Tale of Genji:
Sixty leaves of paintings illustrating famous scenes selected from each of the fifty-four chapters of Lady Murasaki’s romantic novel, the Genji monogatari ( Tale of Genji ), are combined with sixty leaves of accompanying text to form a single album.
The illustrations are by Tosa Mitsunori ( 1583 – 1638 ), while each leaf of text is by a different hand, altogether representing the calligraphy of sixty members of the imperial family and the court aristocracy,
Inheriting the style of Tosa Mitsuyoshi ( 1539-1613 ), who is reported to have been either his father or his teacher, Mitsunori is considered a master of miniature painting, for the execution of which it is said that he used a magnifying glass, a device newly imported from Europe. In the illustrations for this album, the delineation of details in areas such as the clothing patterns and the household furnishing is exquisitely delicate and minute. If there is a rather excessive display of craftsmanship, the paintings nevertheless preserve a tone of elegant refinement. The Genji monogatari has continued as a subject for Japanese painting from the twelfth century onwards. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, artists of the Tosa school painted many decorative illustrations that came to be used as a part of marriage dowries. With a cover that incorporates a woven design of cranes on damask and metal fittings in the shape of butterflies affixed in the four corners, this album has been bound in a fashion that would make it suitable to ornament the interior of a room.
Mikiko Hayashi
1966 born in Kyoto, as first-born daughter of Komao Hayashi, a living national treasure doll maker artist

1984 graduated from Kyoto City Dohda Senior High School of Arts, department of Japanese style painting

1986 graduated from Kyoto College of Art and Design, course of Japanese style painting

1987 started work of Japanese color painting

1994 held a first solo exhibition since then has held exhibitions in various places

Yamato-e paintings

Yamato-e, a genre of Japanese painting, vividly evokes the imperial court in Kyoto during the Heian period ( 794-1185 ) , representing the culture in detail with traditional coloring techniques.