Children's Day: Depictions of Boyhood in Japan

  • Exhib_slideshow_exhibition_childrens-day_26848

    Ikeda Shūzō (1922–2004). 'Children’s Marching Band,' Japan, Shōwa period (1926–1989), 1970. Woodblock print; ink and color on paper. Gift of Philip H. Roach, Jr., 2000 (26848)

March 13, 2014 - May 11, 2014
Honolulu Museum of Art


Exhibition Overview

In 1948, the name of the annual holiday held on the fifth day of the fifth month was changed from Boys’ Day (Tango no sekku; also called Feast of Banners) to Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi ). Despite its more inclusive title, Children’s Day remains primarily a commemoration of boyhood, just as its counterpart, Girls’ Day (Hina matsuri; known also as the Doll Festival), celebrates the virtues of women. In honor of Children’s Day, this gallery rotation explores the ways in which the varied, abstract qualities associated with young men—such as ferocity and playful innocence—were codified in Japanese woodblock prints, paintings, and sculptures from the 18th through the 20th centuries.