Suzuki Harunobu, Young Man Playing a Ko-Tsuzumi

Suzuki Harunobu, ca. 1724-70

Young Man Playing a Ko-Tsuzumi

signed on the painting of Hotei in the tokonoma, Suzuki Harunobu ga, ca. 1768-69

chuban tate-e 11 by 8 3/8 in., 28 by 21.2 cm

An elegantly dressed young man wearing an outer-robe decorated with stylized cranes is seated before a tokonoma while playing a ko-tsuzumi drum. A closed book in front of him may be a music book or the chant-text from a No play, but the drummer confidently taps from memory. Behind him a bronze vase with chrysanthemum flowers is displayed beneath a sumi ink kakemono (hanging scroll) depicting Hotei with his sack which is signed by Harunobu. To the left an open door leads out to a verandah and a stone water basin with a clump of iris leaves.

Jack Hillier, Suzuki Harunobu, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1970, p. 105, cat. no. 54 (Ex. Ledoux and Cutter Collections)
David Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2013, Vol. I, p. 232, cat. no. 387 (Ex. Spaulding Collection)
Honolulu Museum of Art (, accession no. 14496 (Ex. Michener Collection)


Harunobu detail

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