[Emaki - Handscroll 絵巻]. A handscroll of zodiacal animals measures 29 x 582 cm. intotal length with 26 cm. blank at the start on heavy paper in a brocade cover. Never finished, it has 10 animals, with a space near the beginning - after the first animal - for 2 more. All but the boar [inoshishi, 猪] and the ox [ushi, 牛] are present. The 12 signs of the zodiac (Jūnishi 十二支) represent a 12 year cycle, with each year associated with an animal: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. It is said that the person born in that year takes on the characteristics associated with that animal.
A skilled hand - most probably late Edo, unsigned, unsealed. In excellent condition throughout. (Inventory #: 87358)