The Beginning of Sukagawa Enobori
About 280 years ago during the Edo period, a Western painting/copperplate engraving artist named Denzen Aeudoo was known nationwide as a painter for Sadanobu Matsudaira, a ruler of Shirakawa Domain. He returned to his hometown in Sukagawa, Fukushima in his last years and did various paintings on Japanese traditional papers and clothes for the local people. One of his paintings was an image of a Chinese guardian “Shoki” and the painted cloth was used as a decorative festive flag in the garden during the boys’ festival. It was celebrated in order to wish the healthy growth of the boys in the family. This was the beginning of Sukagawa Enobori. They were painted with pigmented ink on about six meter cloths. Denki, a student of Denzen learnt the painting technique from his master, Denzen and this was then passed on to Shogaku Ohno who became the founder of Yoshinoya. Eventually, Enobori became known as a famous product in Sukagawa, and today, people still decorate Enobori paintings during the boys’ festival.
Denzen Aeudoo (born in Sukagawa, Fukushima, in 1748): Denzen was a Western painting/copperplate engraving artist. He was known nationwide as a painter for Matsudaira Sadanobu, a ruler of Shirakawa Domain and learnt about the copperplate engraving technique in Nagasaki and Edo. He painted an image of a Chinese guardian “Shoki” on a cloth and it was used as a decorative festive flag during boys’ festival. This was the beginning of Sukagawa Enobori. (Photo credit: Keizo Ishii)