Six Tama [Jewel] Rivers in Various Provinces

Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1857
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 33.8 x 22.8 cm (13 5/16 x 9 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Anne van Biema collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, landscape, monk, oban, poems, priest, river, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Anne van Biema American, 1915 - 2004


Within a landscape image of the Tama (Jewel) River at Mount Koya is a poem by the Buddhist priest Kukai (Kobo Daishi, 774-835), founder of the great monastery, Kongobuji. In the landscape, along the edge of the river, stands the elderly priest, who is attended by a young monk. Kukai's poem, which is included in the imperial anthology compiled in 1343-46 by Emperor Kogon (1313-1364), reads:

Forgetting the taboo
against drinking it,
travelers have ladled
water from the Tama River
in the recesses of Mount Køya.

This print is from a series called Six Tama (Jewel) Rivers, a subject that first appeared in 1659 in paintings in Edo Castle by Kano Tan'yv (1602-1674), an official painter who served the Tokugawa shoguns and the imperial family.

Translation of poem by John T. Carpenter

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura with contributions by et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 127, pp. 308-309.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum