The main purpose of this article is to provide a critical overview of the Japanese New Year tradition Sewha and Munbae paintings, and the influences on the development of these folk paintings. For Sewha paintings, Egoyomi, Seven Lucky Gods treasure ship, Fuji, hawk, eggplant, folding fan, cigarette, straw and beans were themed in belief of the lucky dream as examples. In some cases, as a solution of the bad dream, Mack (imaginary creature) was also themed in Sewha paintings. On the other hand, Kadomatsu, Jonggyu, Tsunodaesa, Sominjanrae, Hiiragiiwashi were used for the Munbae paintings.
These materials were not only used as the New Year customs, it was assimilated into folk paintings and emerged as multiple forms. Especially, Seven Lucky Gods treasure ship, Fuji, hawk, eggplant were adopted into Ukiyoe. In some cases, Seven Lucky Gods were divided as an individual, Daeheukchun and Sunoin were humorously depicted in the Otsue and Gotee. Hokusai, One of the most famous Ukiyoe painter, drew the Mack in details to describe the handling the bad dreams. While Jonggyu, which has been passed down from China, was widely accepted as a material of Ukiyoe, Otsue, Gotee, Tsunodaesa and Sominjanrae, by its strong character as a Charm, were not used as a material of paintings. Lastly, while Hiragiiwashi was barely seen in the Gotee, it can be found in some of the Ukiyoe and Otsue. Although the usage of materials were differ from the characteristic features, it’s hard to deny that Sewha and Munbae paintings have influenced in folk paintings sphere.