As a people of tradition and ritual, the Japanese put meaning into their artistic works that was defined by symbols that were readily available to all of those within the culture. Through the nature of this strong sense of symbolism, the people of Japan have left a long body of work that establishes patterns and belief systems about their culture. The artwork of Hoitsu and the writing of Basho are both a part of this heritage and contribute to the discourse through a connected cultural dialogue.
The idea of meisho as it is described by Machotka as it refers to painting is that it represented a famous place, connecting the viewer to the image through heritage and culture. The fascinating element of meisho and its application in painting is that artistic works not only would often use the idea in their works, but in pre-modern Japan there was not the idea of creating a landscape that was not also representative of meisho. Machotka states that “Japanese painting tradition did not appreciate places from outside of the vocabulary of meisho as an independent art theme as well as it did not demonstrate general concern in realistic description of views, which would evoke their authenticity”.1 Machotka also discusses the idea that many of the visual references were close to unidentifiable, but because they were associated with literary references, poetic descriptions of places from well known works, that identified them to the basic associations that were visually available.2
Looking at the two paneled screen from the perspective of the viewer, the simplicity of the depiction is the first thing to strike the eye. There is a feeling of movement, but it is not harried nor is it in tension.