Mr Crab

So, apparently the important part of this painting is not Mssr Crab (who has little googly eyes, which you can’t tell in this picture, helas) but actually this huge ass carp that was on the bottom of the scroll. Professor hl1u said that the jumping carp was an important image to those taking the civil service exams. So yearly some fish have to go through some weird jump (like salmon do, I suppose) over something so that they may spawn. Many exam-takers saw this as an equivalent sort of feat; if they could pass the exam they would become important scholar officials.

Apparently both the fish and takers would die if they didn’t pass…?

the Met

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