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The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin with the continued support of The Sumitomo Foundation in Tokyo, have now commissioned Restorient to conserve three more of their most treasured Japanese paintings. Dating from the early 17th century this set of hand scrolls chart the epic tale of "Hunting the Ogres" It will be possible to follow the conservation of these magnificent hand scrolls here on this blog. We at Restorient are delighted to have the opportunity to share this remarkable project, and to offer some insights into this type of specialist conservation.

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Happy Horse !

Detail from Scroll 1

As we enter into the "Year of the Horse" (Umadashi) we should take this opportunity to consider the horses belonging to our Samurai. Although much of the hunt for the Ogres was conducted on foot due to the mountainous terrain it would have been important that the artist stressed the status of our Samurai by including a reference to their undoubted skills as horsemen. 

However the Japanese horse at this time would have been quite small, more like a wiry pony and not best suited for carrying the weight of an amour clad Samurai into battle.

Horses were later imported to increase the size and strength of the indigenous Japanese horses available, and there are records showing that the Dutch East India Company were bringing Western horses to Japan as gifts to the Shogun. The horse below clearly shows evidence of this imported bloodstock.  

A Sacred White Horse at the Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto

As the horse is a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance it promises to be an auspicious year for hunting Ogres..........

Restorient would like to wish all the followers of this blog a Happy New Year and our very best for 2014.  


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