While I was in London, I went to an exhibit at the British Museum of Edo period erotic art (which was quite interesting in its entirety, really) and found this lovely print of “Hideyoshi fondling the hand of his favorite page boy, Ishida Mitsunari.” It’s from around 1800, so I’m glad to see that the history of shipping Sengoku warlords is a long and illustrious one.
The British Museum page has this to say about it:
The image here clearly implies that the two are in a sexual relationship. However, there is no passage in the illustrated biography Ehon Taiko- ki (Picture Book: Annals of the Regent [Hideyoshi]) of 1797–1802 that mentions sexual relations between Hideyoshi and Mitsunari; rather, this suggestion must have come from Ishida gunki (War Chronicle of Ishida Mitsunari) of 1698 (author unidentified)…The identity of the samurai who carries Hideyoshi’s sword over his shoulder and sticks out his tongue at the serving woman is unknown. Maybe he stands as a symbol of the antagonism felt towards Mitsunari among Hideyoshi’s vassal generals.
It also contributed to getting the artist thrown in manacles for a time, along with some other art of Hideyoshi. It appears that it was inadvisable to mix your erotica with symbols of the history of the Tokugawa state.
People and Emperor’s tomb by Yan Xinfa has tackled with Chinese inhabitants and the relationship with their cultural landscape.
Emperor’s tomb is a series of black and white photographs, in which a sense of tranquillity and timelessness pervades the atmosphere.
This series does not only offer a contemporary gaze at archaeological remains, it also reinterprets Chinese daily life within and nearby the mausoleum.
Yan’s photographs reflect the impulse to preserve: archiving both contemporary common land and ancient imperial tomb enables him to salvage China’s cultural heritage and collective memory. In between desacralization and sanctification of an ancient sacred site now re-appropriated by its local population.