List of Works

"Dragon and Clouds / Soga Shohaku"

Dragon and CloudsDragon and Clouds

All photographs © 2015 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Reproduced with permission.
These images are based on the high resolution facsimile produced by the Tsuzuri Project. Unauthorized copying, duplication, or transfer of these images is strictly prohibited.

  • Artist : Soga Shohaku
  • Historical era : Edo (18th century)
  • Material : Printed on washi paper
  • Medium : Eight panels
  • Theme : High Resolution Facsimile of Japanese Art Abroad
  • Size : Each door 165.6 x 135.0 cm (L x W)
  • Recipient : Tenryuji Temple
  • [Original]
  • Current owner : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Material : Ink painting on washi paper


This work depicts a huge dragon in a jet-black space measuring more than 165 cm high by 10 m wide. It was painted by Soga Shohaku, a man known as a "fantasy artist" because of his unconventional painting style. The work bears a signature and seal indicating it was created in 1763, when Soga Shohaku was 34 years old. It is believed to have been designed for use as sliding doors of a temple, but the details cannot be unconfirmed. "Dragon and Clouds" came into the possession of William Sturgis Bigelow, the renowned collector of Japanese art, who donated it to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1911 in the form of paintings removed from the sliding doors.
A few years ago, this work was restored to nearly original condition. Although the four panels depicting the portion of the dragon's body between the head and tail have been lost, this work is considered as one of Shohaku's masterpieces because the dynamic composition and powerful brush strokes are deeply evocative.

Exhibit Information

Exhibit dates: Saturday, March 18, 2017 to Sunday, May 21, 2017.
Place: Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture)


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Canon Inc.


Kyoto Culture Association (NPO)
Formerly Kyoto City Seitoku Junior high school 3F
290 Hanjocho Takatsuji Street Muromachi nishi
Shimogyo ku
Kyoto City, Kyoto
Japan 600-8433