Choju Giga in Japanese and English

Choju Giga(The Scroll of Frolicking Animals), which has been handed down for centuries, is said to have been produced about 900 years ago.
This artisitic masterpiece, regarded by some as the origin of manga, contains vivid depiction of animals engaged in lively antics.
Let's enjoy looking at the charming and fascinating ways in which the animals behave and imagine how the people in the old days lived and played.
Large seize with 32pages, before-tax price:¥2,000

In this scroll, the pictures are not accompanied by words. So in the later period people studied and conjuctured the manners and customes of day and tried to explain the pictures by putting stories to them.
This book is an attempt to tell stories with some hints from previously written.


Naturally interpretations may well differ from one person to another.
For example, for the picture on page 4 the text goes:"Come along here!" a hare beckons a monkey. "Wait! I'm coming!" cries the monkey, dog-padding hard.
Regarding this scene, someone stated that the hare is drowing and the monkey is hurring to rescue him.

"Hares and Frogs at an Archery Contest"
An archery contest is an ancient past time.
Now the hare team and frog team are contesting. And here archers are waiting for their turn.
"How can we lose to the likes of frogs!" cry the hares who are full of fight.
A frog is watching the game with arrows tied around their waist.
Other frogs are carefully checking their bows and arrows.

"A Feast after the Contest"
There is going to be a feast after the contest.
Two young hares are carring a large hamper with tow birds tied to its lid.
A frog and hare follow with a heavy jar of sake.
"Hey, frog, don't go so fast." says hare. "The sake will spill."
"But my shoulders hurt so, Hare, I can't stand it." 

鳥獣戯画_Choju Giga 
Behind them another hamper is being crried in.
It is too full of good food to close the lid.

"Sumo Wrestling of the Hare and the Flog"
Here a sumo bout is going on between a hare and a frog.
Choju Giga 
They are locked squarely with each other. The frog tries to perform an outside leg trip, but it does not work so well. He is getting impatient, and snap at the hare's ears.
"Hey, that's not fair! Let go! let Go1" the watching hares shout in protest, but the frog has no ear to listen to them.

"A funeral"
This looks like a funeral scene.
A monkey monk wearing a coat of leaves is chanting a prayer to the Buddha Amida.
A fox priest and hare priest are reading a suntra.
Choju Giga 
Further inside a monkey is wiping his tears with his sleeve, and a fox is trying to hold back her grief.
Theirbe loved daughter seems to have passed away. Is that their son, the one counting his beads?
On the altar in the shade of tree is a frog Buddha seated on a lotus leaf with an aureole of banana leaves behind him.