The crane is a bird with a strong symbolic value in East Asia and, due to its beauty and graceful movements, it is considered a generic emblem of good omen. Due to its ability to make long migrations, which create the illusion of a perpetual return from distant places, in China cranes have also been associated with the immortals Taoists, for whom, according to traditional iconography, they often constitute the means of transport. favorite. These messengers of the deities are therefore, first of all, a metaphor for longevity. On the occasion of one of the periodic rotations for conservation purposes involving the Japanese gallery, the refined pair of "Gru (tsuru)" screens from the seventeenth century is exhibited: fifteen cranes of various species are depicted in a marshy environment, wrapped in a golden mist . The glimmer and brightness of the screens, which almost illuminate the room, are due to the precious gold leaf background (kinpaku), restored to its former glory thanks to a restoration funded in 2011 by the Friends of the Turin Museums Foundation.
The naturalistic style is characterized by the fullness of colors, by a careful search for differentiated and elegant poses and by the harmony of the whole. In the same room will be placed another pair of six-door screens dating back to the seventeenth century depicting a rich composition of chrysanthemums in bloom. The subject is of Chinese origin, recalls the autumn season and is a symbol of the secluded life of the man of letters away from official posts. In Japan it met with great success, so much so that it was also adopted as a coat of arms by the imperial family: a 16-petalled golden chrysanthemum corolla, which evokes the splendor of the sun. The conservative rotation continues on the second floor of the Japanese gallery with the exhibition of eight kakemono, the delicate paintings on vertical scroll, and a selection of lacquers, including a box for the tea ceremony (chabako) with a red background and fine branches. vegetables decorated with leaves and flowers in relief in ceramics of various colors, gilded metals and mother of pearl. The evoked style is called “Haritsu”, from the name of the multifaceted artist Ogawa Haritsu (1663-1747), a popular decorator of multi-material lacquers, painter and haiku poet.