37  Fujikawa "Picture of Bouhana"

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"Bouhana" in the title denotes the outskirts of a post town. There was always a "stake" on the boundary between two post towns, and thus the entrance to a post town came to be called "bouhana" ("bou" loosely meaning "stake"). This picture depicts the arrival at Fujikawa post town of a feudal government official's procession on its way to present horses to the Emperor. Two horses, each decorated with a sacred staff and pendant paper strips, are escorted by samurai guards. Post town officials and travelers alike kneel on the ground and bow deeply to the procession to welcome it. Puppies playing close by help to ease the tension of the solemn scene.