Screen paintings of whale and elephant by Itō Jakuchū

A pair of folding screens by a Japanese painter, Itō Jakuchū (伊藤若冲; 1716-1800), was found in a private home in Kanazawa city. Itō Jakuchū's paintings usually depict animals, birds and plants in bold composition. Like his other works, the newly-found screens uniquely contrast a black whale spouting water on the left-side screen and a white elephant sitting on the beach on the right-side screen.

The design of the newly-found screens is similar to a Jakuchu's missing work.

Folding screens in the above photograph were listed in an auction catalogue of Osaka Art Club (大阪美術倶楽部) issued in 1928. Notice that, whereas the tail of the elephant and the plants over the back of the elephant are drawn on the newly-found screen, they are missing on the one in the old auction catalogue. According to the catalogue, the screens had been owned by Baron Kawasaki in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture. They were knocked down to an anonymous person for 3,100 yen, which roughly corresponds to present five million yen, or 50,000 US dollars. After the auction, no one but the unknown owner has seen the screens.

According to Yomiuri Online, the pair of the newly-found screens has signatures saying: "Painted by Beito-ou, 82 years old (米斗翁八十二歳画)"; Beito-ou (Uncle Beito) was a Jakuchū's pseudonym that he used in his last years. Perhaps, in the last years of his life, he painted again the composition of the black whale and white elephant that he had once painted.

The followings are some of other Jakuchu's works for your eyes' pleasure.


I will never visit Papua New Guinea

So I decided reading this report.

Brave Italian photographer Iago Corazza travelled the country, the island at the end of the world, and took photos of its fascinating inhabitants, who still live a Stone Age existence.

“You find people here who can describe the taste of human flesh,” the photographer said of his travels.

Anthropologist Olga Ammann describes it more succinctly in the book. She quotes people who have eaten other humans: “The meat of white people smells too strongly and is too salty.

The Japanese are meant to taste the best, according to her study - the only thing that beats it is the meat of their own women.
Update: According to comments on 2-channel concerning this topic, it seems that cannibalism of native tribes had been a problem for the Japanese soldiers that stationed in Papua New Guinea during WWII. In the translation below, notes in parentheses are mine.
541 : Anonymous @ 9th Anniversary: 2008/12/15 (Mon) 23:28:32 ID:UExy4qZp0 (2-channel is cerebrating its 9th anniversary.)

An old man who was in the same line of business as mine once told me a story. He had been a ground man stationed in the Rabaul base. (The Imperial Japanese Navy had a base of naval air-force in Rabaul on the New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea.)

Newly assigned fleshy rookies were the most common targets. They were advised not to act alone in the night even if they were in the base.

Even though they were so advised, still some guys were abducted. When someone is abducted, there comes a sound of drums from far away. Since they couldn't neglect it, they used to organize rescue parties but in most cases they were too late; The abductee being bound on a log had already been barbequed like a pig roasted whole.

When they realized that they were too late, they just looked on the event. Perhaps their feeling was atrophied, since death was too common among them in those days. Well, anyway they couldn't kill civilians for retaliation.

546 : Anonymous @ 9th Anniversary: 2008/12/15(Mon) 23:36:00 ID:uHZTJRP00

The day has finally come!
The day that Japan, which has been a food-importing country, can become a food-exporting country!

558 : Anonymous @ 9th Anniversary: 2008/12/15(Mon) 23:40:54 ID:RJG5I8ce0

Oh, what my granddad told me was true... orz.
He told me that this was scarier than the war when he served in the war. I am sorry, my granddad, for taking your story as a half-truth.
The followings are original texts of the above quote. They were found on this thread on 2-channel.
541 :名無しさん@九周年:2008/12/15(月) 23:28:32 ID:UExy4qZp0



546 :名無しさん@九周年:2008/12/15(月) 23:36:00 ID:uHZTJRP00
558 :名無しさん@九周年:2008/12/15(月) 23:40:54 ID:RJG5I8ce0


Wife and sister of Emperor Akihito

Last month, I came across two elderly ladies related to the Japanese Imperial Family.

The first one was Empress Michiko. When I was walking along a road in Kyoto on November 2, I noticed policemen standing at every corner. I asked one of them if any incident had taken place there. He told me in an undertone: "Emperor is coming here soon". So I decided to wait for the Emperor and his party there. According to the policeman, the Emperor was staying in Kyoto for attending an event for celebrating the thousand-year anniversary of the Tales of Genji, and at the time the Emperor Akihito was to visit the tomb of Emperor Go-Nijō (reign: 1301-1308).

After a while, the party on vehicles passed in front of me. I could see Empress Michiko in one of the vehicles but I could not spot the Emperor who should have been in the seat next to the Empress. It seemed that the Emperor canceled the visit to the tomb as he wasn't in good health. Empress Michiko was smiling in the vehicle as always.

The second one was Atsuko Ikeda who is a younger sister of the Emperor. On November 22 - 24, I visited Ise Jingu shrine in the Ise city in Mie prefecture. Ise Jingu is a complex of shrines that is composed of many shrines centered on two main shrines, Naikū (内宮, or inner shrine) and Gekū (外宮, or outer shrine).

After staying in a hotel near Gekū, I visited Gekū in the early morning of November 23. There were again many policemen in the shrine area. They were all in the special uniform as the guards for the Imperial Palace and properties related to the Imperial Family. At first, I thought it was normal circumstances in the Ise Jingu since it is the place that the Emperor administers. However, when I entered the space in front of the main building, I realized that I happened to visit there in the midst of a special ceremony. Asking a guard in ancient uniform who was standing by torii, I learned that the ceremony was Niiname-sai (新嘗祭), or harvesting ceremony, that is held only once a year. The following quote is from the Web page of Ise Jingu shrine.

The Niiname-sai ceremony in Jingu is composed of both Omikesai and Hoheisai. These ceremonies are conducted in the name of the Emperor. The Niiname-sai is held parallel to the ceremony at which the Emperor officiates and offers the newly harvested rice to Amaterasu Omikami in the Imperial Palace. By partaking of the food offered he ritually receives the deity's blessings.
In front of the main building were sitting a priestess in ancient white clothes, a dozen or so of priests in the same white clothes and two people in authentic clothes for court nobles in the Heian period (8th-12th century). The latter two were emboys sent by the Emperor to report this year's harvest to the deities of the shrine. The priestess was the Emperor's younger sister, Atsuko Ikeda, who is saishu (祭主), or the most sacred person of the Ise Jingu shrine. Secularly, she is a wife of a zoo owner, Takamasa Ikeda, who is a direct descendant of the feudal lord of Okayama and the eldest son of former Marquis Nobumasa Ikeda. Mr. Ikeda liked to raise animals so much that he opened his own zoo named "Ikeda Zoo" in Okayama. Mme. Ikeda has been working as the wife of the zoo owner, and at the same time she has been working as the chief priestess of Ise Jingu shrine; Chief priestesses of the shrine has traditionally been chosen from women related to the imperial family.

Mme. Ikeda looked to have difficulty in sitting and standing during the ceremony as she is 77 years old. Those who were born to the imperial family seem to have some obligations even after they were detached from the royalty through marriage to commoners. Mme. Ikeda succeeded her ailing elder sister as the chief priestess in 1988. If it would have become impossible for Mme. Ikeda to work as the priestess, a daughter of the Emperor Akihito, Sayako Kuroda, may be succeeding.

Sayako Kuroda was reported to be fond of anime. In her marriage party, she wore a dress that was designed after the dress of the heroin of Hayao Miyazaki's anime, The Castle of Cariostro. She would be able to enjoy the role as a priestess to some extent if she succeeded.