6994 A six-fold paper screen painted in ink and colour on a gold ground with a covey of uzura (quails) and chicks amongst kibi (millet), grasses, nokongiku (aster) and tampopo (dandelion).
Japan 18th/19th century Edo period
Dimensions: H. 29½” x W. 101″ (74.5cm x 256cm)
In Japanese and Chinese culture uzura (quail) have three symbolic meanings. They are emblematic of autumn, of poverty as their colouration gives the appearance of tattered clothing and also symbolise martial valour due to their fighting spirit. A popular motif from the Muromachi period onwards they are usually depicted with millet or autumnal grasses.
Millet is also associated with autumn and was introduced from the mainland to Japan during the Yayoi period (900BC – 250AD)