Preparatory drawing for Kamakura no Udaijin from the series One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki)

Maker(s)
Artist: Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1835-1836
Medium
Ink on paper
Dimensions
H x W (sheet and image): 25.8 x 37.8 cm (10 3/16 x 14 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1907.577
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

drawing

Keywords
bird, child, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hanshita-e, Japan, man, water
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This approach provides Hokusai the opportunity for multiple puns.  For example, in Cherry through the Gate, workmen are shown pulling an entire cherry tree through the gate of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.  The poem was composed by Lady Ise on order of the Emperor Ichijo (ruled 987-1012) to commemorate the reception of one delicate, blossoming cherry branch from a courtier.  Hokusai's interpretation plays on the poem's vague language and is quite literal as it envisions the whole tree's arrival, perhaps suggesting present-day vulgarity contrasted with court elegance of a bygone era.  Only twenty-seven of the prints were completed, however drawings such as these are extant for at least sixty four more subjects.

Published References
  • Theodore Bowie. The Drawings of Hokusai. Bloomington. fig. 43.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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