A Long Tale for an Autumn Night (Aki no yo nagamonogatari)
Unidentified Artist Japanese
Muromachi period (1392–1573)
Handscroll 1 from a set of 3; ink, color, and gold on paper
Image: 12 1/4 in. × 32 ft. 7 1/4 in. (31.1 × 993.8 cm)
Overall with mounting: 12 5/8 in. × 34 ft. 6 7/8 in. (32.1 × 1053.8 cm)
Purchase, Funds from various donors, by exchange, Fletcher Fund and Dodge Fund, 2002
Not on view
A Long Tale for an Autumn Night became popular in Japan in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It tells of an amorous affair between a Buddhist monk and a younger male acolyte (chigo). The usual outcome of these tragic tales is the monk’s attainment of religious salvation after repenting his obsession with carnal pleasures. The narrative progresses from right to left across three illustrated handscrolls (emaki). Note the use of a device called iji dōzu (literally, “different time, same illustration”), in which the same figures appear multiple times in a single pictorial segment so that several events can be depicted simultaneously. At an earlier point, the first section of this handscroll was excised and mounted separately as a hanging scroll. The Museum acquired the missing section in 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan I," March 1, 2003–September 21, 2003.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Storytelling in Japanese Art," November 19, 2011–May 6, 2012.