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Drinking Wine

attributed to Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849)


飲酒図

The text and painting are unrelated, except that they both deal with drinking saké. In the painting, a figure wraps his elongated neck around the protruding cranium of his none-too-happy-looking drinking partner. This partner may be Jurōjin, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, who loves saké, although he is usually depicted with a long, white beard and happy grin on his face.

It was believed that certain people had necks that elongated while they slept, allowing their heads to travel through space to suck blood and energy out of their victims. They had no memory of their nocturnal escapades and looked completely normal while awake. Others thought that characters with long, elastic necks could visit distant lands and even other planets.

Object Information

artist
attributed to Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849)
materials
ink and colors on paper
accession number
56.150A-B
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Alsdorf
collection
Asian Art
colors