Artist: Kuroda Toko 黒田稲皐 (1785-1846)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 19th century
Ink and color on silk
H x W: 44.9 x 85.8 cm (17 11/16 x 33 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

carp, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, kakemono

To 1896
Yamanaka & Company, New York to 1896 [1]

From 1896 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1896 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Kakemono List, L. 70, pg. 15, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source) 1917 - 1965


Kuroda Toko was a samurai from Tottori who moved to Edo after studying with the official painter to the daimyo of his native region. Toko's teacher, Hijikata Torei (1735-1807), had studied in Kyoto with Maruyama Okyo (1733-95), who had created an influential style of painting from his study of Chinese, Japanese, and European art. Torei had also studied the realistic painting of natural subjects by Ming- and Qing-dynasty Chinese artists. The realism of Toko's ink carp swimming underwater and viewed from above reflects this heritage from his teacher. Blue flowers emerging from the pool heighten the effect and are also decorative.

Published References
  • Unknown title. no. 734 Tokyo. p. 45.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 208, fig. 142.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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