Tethered Hawks

Soga Chokuan Japanese
Inscriptions by Ittō Jōteki (Shōteki) Japanese

Not on view

Hawks tethered to their perches, awaiting release by their masters, symbolize military preparedness and valor. Their fearsome beauty and predatory features—sharp beaks, keen eyes, long curving talons—made them metaphors of martial training and the warrior spirit. The artist Soga Chokuan, renowned for his hawk paintings, received many commissions from leading samurai for either individual paintings or sets of tethered hawk images painted individually and pasted onto folding screens.

This set is inscribed by Ittō Jōteki, one of the foremost Zen figures of his time. He eventually served as the 152nd abbot of Daitokuji in Kyoto, the most influential Zen temple in medieval Japan.

On view from March 8, 2021–April 24, 2022, rotates October 12-13, 2021

Tethered Hawks, Soga Chokuan (Japanese, active ca. 1596–1615), Twelve paintings mounted as a pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on paper, Japan

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.1, right screen, overall