Maruyama Ōkyo was the master of the realist school of painting in eighteenth-century Japan. Ōkyo’s brilliant talent in genre painting is evident in his execution of the popular time-honored theme of seasonal activities. A scene of a summer night gathering along the cool banks of the Kamo River at the intersection of Shijo Street is preceded by a scene of spring cherry blossoms and followed by scenes of the fall lantern festival and the winter preparations for the New Year’s festivities. Between the scenes are sections of spontaneous cursive-style narrative text by the renowned calligrapher Takahashi Munenao.
Artist Maruyama Okyo, Japanese, 1733-1795
Artist Takahashi Munenao, Japanese, 1701 - 1785
  • Entertainments of the Four Seasons in Kyoto
Date ca. 1770 - 1777
Medium Ink on paper
Dimensions Overall: 11 1/4 inches × 46 feet 3 3/8 inches (28.6 cm × 14 m 10.7 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Edsel and Eleanor Ford Exhibition and Acquisition Fund, Alan and Marianne Schwartz Fund with funds from Michigan National Corporation, Mrs. Howard J. Stoddard and Mr. and Mrs. Stanford C. Stoddard
Accession Number 1983.21
Department Asian Art
Not On View
Marks Stamp, in red, lower right, on first sheet: [seal]
Inscriptions Calligraphy, throughout: [text by Takashasi Munenao]
Hara Collection.
(Mayuyama and Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan);
1983-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Taki, Dr. Seiichi. Kokka, no. 331.

"Founders Society Reports." Bulletin of the DIA 61, no. 3 (1982/83): p. 35 (ill.).

100 Masterworks from the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1985, pp. 58-59 (ill.).

Yoshizawa, Chu. "Maruyama Okyo hitsu shiki yuraku zukan shita-e ni tsuite." (The draft of Maruyama Okyo's Handscroll of "Merriments of the Four Seasons".) Kokka, no. 1081 (1985): pp. 11-19.