Boy’s Day Carp Streamer and Shōki Banner

Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋暁斎 Japanese

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On Boys’ Day, the fifth day of the fifth month, families displayed carp streamers and images of the demon-queller Shōki, painted in red to protect the household against disease; the rooster symbolizes honesty and fortitude. Kawanabe Kyōsai was renowned for his witty, humorous depictions of people, birds, and animals of all varieties. Once arrested for a caricature mocking the government, he became one of the most popular artists of his day.

Boy’s Day Carp Streamer and Shōki Banner, Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋暁斎 (Japanese, 1831–1889), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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