A newly discovered painting of a sparrow drawn by a Tokugawa shogun will be put on display at the Fuchu Art Museum in western Tokyo in September 2021.

Museum curator Nobuhisa Kaneko identified the drawing, which is a hanging scroll and features a sparrow among bamboos, as a work of Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651). Kaneko studies the third shogun’ s artwork, which he describes as “cute and fun.”

The sparrow drawing is a surprise, Kaneko said, because of its depth. Iemitsu drew the “sparrow’s background, such as bamboos, in perspective.”

“It is adorable, carefully drawn and likable,” he said.

A man residing in Nagano had come into possession of the hanging scroll artwork by inheriting it from his late father.

A note for the hanging scroll suggests that the drawing is the work of Iemitsu and part of a collection of a major landowner in the Joetsu region in Niigata Prefecture.

Kaneko conducted research through a local TV program in Nagano Prefecture.

Iemitsu had solidified the political foundation for the Tokugawa dynasty, which lasted from 1603 to 1867. He persecuted Christians and instituted an isolationist foreign policy that lasted for more than two centuries.

In his spare time, Iemitsu enjoyed painting.

Approximately 20 of his drawings have been discovered, including an ink brush painting of a rooster.

The drawing of a sparrow and bamboos will be part of the exhibit that will open at the museum in September next year.