Wind God and Thunder God

Title: Wind God and Thunder God
Artist: Tawaraya Sotatsu(1570-1643)
Type: Painting
Date: 17th century
Medium: Pair of two folded screens; Ink and color on paper covered with gold leaves
Dimension: 169.8 x 154.5 cm
Repository: A11189-1 Tokyo National Museum

The wind god and thunder god is a folded screen created by Tawaraya Sotatsu, a famous painter during early edo period, . It is now stored in Tokyo national museum. It is viewed as one of Japanese national treasury. I choose this painting in my miniexhibition project because it corresponde with my topic on Japanese mythologies, or more specifically about immortals appeared in ancient Japanese art works. I want to use those paintings as a key to investigate the worldview of Japanese people at that time.

On this painting, we can see there are two scary gods one each side of the screen. Tawaraya uses smooth lines and floating curves to paint those two gods which makes them looks vivid and the gold foil on the background makes the whole painting more gorgeous. By drawing black clouds on the back of these two gods, he tells us they are flying above the sky. The thunder god on the left side uses those little drums to make loud sounds and produce thunders and the wind god on the right side use the white towel to produce huge winds. Different from other Japanese paintings we have seen in class that are exquisite and delicate, this one is particularly striking and aggressive. I love how the artist uses his wonderful imagination to give those invisible creatures a concrete body.

Wind God (
File:Wind-God-Fujin-and-Thunder-God-Raijin-by-Tawaraya-Sotatsu.png – Wikimedia Commons
TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM – Collections The TNM Collection Object List Wind God and Thunder God.

Author: Elvis Jiang

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