Shoulao (God of longevity) under Plum Tree

Organization control number
Cultural property designation
Important Art Object
Attributed to Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506?)
Era century
Muromachi period, 15th century
Item shape
Color on silk
Tokyo National Museum
Sesshu was a Zen monk-painter of the Muromachi period. After going through training and Buddhist ascetic practice at Shokokuji temple in Kyoto, Sesshu moved in his mid-thirties southwest to Yamaguchi in his mid-thirties, where he worked under the guardianship of its rulers, the Ouchi clan. In 1467, he traveled to Ming-dynasty China with the Japanese official envoys as a painter, and studied under a Chinese painter there. This work is noted for its mystifying composition of Juro seemingly intertwining with the branches of pine, bamboo and plum, and the deer.