Games, Contests and Artful Play in Japan

March 19, 2005 – October 23, 2005

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Galleries 6 & 7 Floor Plan

This exhibition and a concurrent installation of screens in a neighboring gallery present paintings and objects from the 14th to 20th centuries that illustrate a variety of Japanese games and contests. Art works include a handscroll of a poetry competition, a large ceramic dish that doubles as a sugoroku game board, and an Edo-period handscroll of horse racing at a Shinto shrine in Kyoto. Many popular Japanese games and contests were originally played by men and women from the imperial court of the Heian period (794-1185).