Kamakura period (1185–1333)
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Image: 35 1/2 × 16 3/4 in. (90.2 × 42.5 cm)
Overall with mounting: 63 1/2 × 23 1/8 in. (161.3 × 58.7 cm)
Overall with knobs: 63 1/2 × 25 1/2 in. (161.3 × 64.8 cm)
Gift of Takemitsu Oba, 1993
Not on view
The area of Kasuga was chosen by Fujiwara Fuhito (659–720) to enshrine his ancestral clan deities when the Japanese imperial court moved to Nara in the early eighth century. Here, the Kasuga Shrine and its environs in the ancient capital are depicted in bird’s-eye perspective. At the top is the sacred mountain of Kasuga, and at the bottom left, the Buddhist temple Kōfukuji. Regarded as the special vehicles of the clan deities, deer are shown roaming in the spring landscape, as they still do today.