In Praise of Flower Hunting

華狩頌
華獵頌
华猎颂
화수송

MUNAKATA, Shiko

棟方 志功
栋方 志功
무나카타 시코

1954
Woodcut on paper
131×159cm


A masterwork by a representative print artist of Japan. Flower hunting is to win the heart not by shooting with a bow and arrow but with beautiful flowers.

日本を代表する版画家の名作。華狩とは弓矢ではなく美しい花で心を射止めること。
代表日本的版畫家的名作. 所謂華獵並不是使用弓箭射擊,而是用美麗的花朵打動人心.
代表日本的版画家的名作. 所谓华猎并不是使用弓箭射击,而是用美丽的花朵打动人心.
일본을 대표하는 판화가의 명작. 화수라는 활과 화살이 아닌 아름다운 꽃으로 마음을 잡는다는 것.


There is a ritual in the Ainu fire festival in which inau (ritual wood-shaving sticks) are shot in all directions. With this ritual as the theme, Munakata produced this work by referring to a cave painting in the Goguryeo tomb in Tonggu, China. Instead of hunting birds and animals with bows and arrows or guns, the idea is to win their hearts by shooting flowers.

This was submitted to The Tenth Nitten (Japan Fine Arts Exhibition) in 1954, the year the U.S.A. carried out a thermonuclear test in Bikini Atoll and Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a Japanese boat, was exposed to radiation. Movements to ban atomic and hydrogen bombs livened up more than ever before. As an artist in pursuit of beauty, perhaps Munakata wanted to express a world without weapons in this work.