Things to do / Cultural/Entertainment

Display of Ogi-neputa 'Hideyoshi's Osaka'

The ANA Crowne Plaza hotel in Osaka is now hosting a special neputa on display — saving visitors a trip to Aomori. Neputa are a type of float famous in the northern prefecture, in particular in its city of Hirosaki, and one type of the festive structures is a giant paper lantern float shaped like an о̄gi fan with paintings on both front and back surfaces.

This particular design is based on a folding screen found to be decorating a wall in the Eggenberg palace in September 2006 in Austria, which depicted Osaka around the time of the death of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), who had the castle built. The city as it was back then, 400 years ago, has no other records since it burned down in a period of 30 years.

Hideyoshi's Osaka was a state-of-the-art huge city that combined authority, military power, and economic power in one place. The discovered piece of art portrays a commercial district and shipyard based on groundbreaking urban planning, a huge military facility, and even sewage facilities. The painting is colorful and lively, depicting not only the castle, but homes, shrines, temples, townsmen, and samurai as well.

(Kalynn Erickson)