The Brushwood Fence Scroll

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  • Date: c. 1172
  • Japanese: 小柴垣草紙 or 小柴垣草子 (koshibagaki zoushi)

The Brushwood Fence Scroll was a handscroll painting depicting erotic encounters between Heian courtiers, painted around 1172 and given to Taira no Tokuko (Kenreimon-in) as a wedding present, on the occasion of her marriage to Emperor Takakura. The earliest example of Japanese erotic painting about which anything is known, the scroll acquired a particular classical or canonical status among shunga artists of the Edo period, who referenced it or reproduced its imagery while claiming, either sarcastically or with some degree of sincerity, a link to elite classical court culture.