The scroll depicts a fictitious poetry contest where thirty-two artisans are divided into left and right pairs to compete on the quality of the poems. The figures of the artisans do not emulate the seated figures in kasen-e portraits of immortal poets, but they are individually portrayed and engaged in their trades. The principal interest appears to have been to show their occupations. After the wars of the Ōnin and Bunmei eras (1467-1477), economic development brought an increase in the range of occupations in the city. Aristocrats would playfully assume the identity of artisans to compose witty poems, so we can infer that they are the source of the interest in artisans.