Japanese Picnic Box
19th century AD

Gallery 26, Ground Floor,
Japanese Decorative Arts Gallery

Related Objects in the Ashmolean Museum:

1. Lacquer Inro
Gallery 26, Ground Floor, Japanese Decorative Arts Gallery

These elegant boxes, called inro, were used to contain medicines or to carry seals for stamping paper. This 19th century example shows the courtesan Morokoshi of Echizen-ya writing a letter and includes polished coloured lacquers and inlaid gold foil on a green lacquer ground.

2. Screen showing a dog chasing game
(on display from 12th June)
Gallery 19, Ground Floor, Japanese, Korean and Chinese Art Gallery (left hand side)

This mid to early 17th century screen is the right hand of a pair and shows a game for 27 horse archers. You can see the archers parading around a ring with the umpire and a dog-handler in the centre. The dog-handler will release the dog at a given moment and the horsemen will race after it. Along the edge of the area of activity you can see crowds of towns-people watching the game, many of whom are using picnic boxes, like the Object of the Month.