Chohi and Kanyu (Jangfei and Ganyu)

Artist: Joren (active 1818-1830)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1800-1868
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 42.3 × 79.5 cm (16 11/16 × 31 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll (mounted on panel)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono, snow
Provenance research underway.

Set in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-65), this scene depicts the visit of Chinese emperor Liu Bei, of the house of Han, with his followers Jangfei and Ganyu, to the residence of noted general Juko Liang to persuade him to return to service. The general, immersed in the study of classical texts, left his petitioners standing for hours in the snow before reluctantly granting an interview. This touches on a recurring theme in Chinese history of talented men declining the pressures of politics for a life of reclusive study.

Chinese legends and tales were always popular in Japan, particularly during the Edo period (1615-1868), when Confucian ideals were extolled by the ruling class. Book illustration was the principal means of linking image and lore.  One of the most prolific nineteenth-century Japanese authors was Takizawa Bakin (1767-1848), who found ample sources of inspiration in Chinese legend and literature. He worked closely with Hokusai (1760-1849) and other artists to produce illustrated histories and fiction and may have adapted this story well.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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