7524 An eight-fold paper screen painted in ink and colour on a silver ground with three crows in flight and two perched on a tree stump amongst grasses and water lilies beside a stream
Japan, 19 century, Meiji period
Dimensions: H. 122cm x W. 352cm (48¼” x 138¾”)
In Japanese literature crows first appear in Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan, 720) in the form of Yatagarasu, a gigantic three-legged crow which carried a critical message to the legendary Emperor Jinmu as he made his way northward from Kyushu to establish control of the Yamato region. Since that time the appearance of the great bird is construed to be auspicious and evidence of the will of Heaven or divine intervention in human affairs.