Past Exhibitions

Otogi Zōshi: Illustrated Popular Stories
November 18, 2014 - December 23, 2014

The best known literary works of the Heian period are the prose narrative novels (monogatari) that were favored by the aristocracy. Beginning around the end of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), however, a new type of illustrated short story took hold, featuring protagonists from various classes of Japanese society. These stories, known as otogi zōshi ("companion stories") included anecdotes about the religious experiences of priests, stories of demon-vanquishing warriors, military epics, folk tales, and stories about the marriages and other adventures of anthropomorphized animals.

This thematic exhibition features handscrolls of Muromachi period otogi zōshi with a special focus on examples depicting the human-like escapades of animals and other creatures.

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