Auspicious painting for the New Year

This painting is a typical auspicious Japanese painting for the New Year. Depicted on the big turtle are a family of cranes and "the three friends of winter": pine, bamboo and ume plum. In pre-modern period, it was believed that cranes and turtles had extremely long lives, as there was a saying: "cranes live for 1000 years and turtles live for 10000 years (鶴は千年、亀は千年)". Thus, the turtle and the cranes are symbols of longevity. Of the "three friends of winter", the pine symbolizes endurance and longevity, the bamboo reflects strength and flexibility, and the plum evokes purity of character.