Courtiers approaching Nakoso barrier, inscribed with a verse from the anthology Senzai wakashu

Maker(s)
Artist: Tomioka Tessai 富岡鉄斎 (1836-1924)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, 1905
Medium
Ink and color on paper, ivory jiku
Dimensions
H x W (image): 137.8 × 34.3 cm (54 1/4 × 13 1/2 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Gift of Lawrence and Sonia Klein
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1992.22
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
Japan, kakemono, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Swift, spontaneous brush strokes delineate a simple scene of a courtier and his small retinue approaching a mountain barrier gate.  Light touches of pink depict cherry blossoms, a motif repeated in the decorated square near the top that represents a shikishi, a sheet of paper for inscribing a single verse of Japanese poetry. The quoted poem comes from the anthology, Senzai wakashu (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years), compiled in the 1180s by order of Emperor Goshirakawa (1127-1192). The poem composed by Minamoto Yoshi'ie (1039-1106) reads:

Although I know
the wind blows
at Nakoso Barrier,
how the mountain cherry blossoms
narrow the path!

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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