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WINTER Japanese Art

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Japanese antiques art

From kyoto japan


18th Century

A Background to Inuoumono

Inuoumono was a Japanese sport that involved mounted archers shooting at dogs. The dogs were released into a circular enclosure approximately 15m across, and mounted archers would fire upon them whilst riding around the perimeter.


Originally intended as a military training exercise, dog-shooting became popular as a sport among the Japanese nobility during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods (1185-1573). During this time it was briefly banned during the rule of Emperor Go-Daigo (owing to his concern for the dogs); however, this ruling was overturned by the shogun Ashikaga Takauji at the behest of his archery teacher Ogasawara Sadamune. The influential Ogasawara family were particular adherents of inuoumono; Sadamune’s archery treatise Inuoumono mikuanbumi regarded it as fundamental to a warrior’s training, and his great-grandson Mochinaga devoted five books to the subject.


The arrows used in dog-shooting were usually rendered non-fatal, by being either padded or blunted. This modification to the original sport was suggested by the Buddhist clergy, as a way of preventing injury to the dogs used.


Ink, gold and pigment on paper.

174cm high by 354cm wide


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