The hunters belong to one of the tribes living in the regions to the North of the Chinese Empire. During the Edo period knowledge of these regions was rather vague and completely based on Chinese sources. In 1645 a work was published in Nagasaki with illustrations of persons who represented forty-two foreign nations and peoples who also included natives of Manchuria, Mongolia and other regions. These illustrations stood model for later depictions of ‘barbarians' and were times after times copied.
The explorations of Mogami Tokunai (1755-1836) of the northern islands Hokkaido and Sakhalin and of Mamiya Rinz (1775-1844) who traveled to a Chinese outpost on the river Amur in modern Heilongjiang Province in 1809 and who drew a map of central Manchuria and the Amur estuary stimulated Japanese interests in Manchuria and beyond especially after 1824 when the Russian exploration of Amur region began.
The people here are probably Dattan, the Japanese name (from the Chinese after a Turkish term) for ‘Tatars', since the Ming dynasty a general term for nomads of the Mongolian Plateau.
In Edo period Japan ‘Dattan' became a term for North Asians in general and a contemptuous term for Manchurians in particular.
The hunters and especially their headman with his attendants sitting in a tent are depicted in more or less Chinese dress and they use Chinese weapons.
Though the screens are anonymous it is quite likely that the scenery and the figures and animals were painted by different hands. The tigers and panthers are a little more realistic than the house cat-tigers (nekotora) of Edo Japan when tigers were only known as pictures (though the tigers are rather small for Amur-tigers and even for Caspian tigers). Bakumatsu period (1840-1870).
H. 171.5 cm.
63 cm. (6x)
Appears to be in a good condition.
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