Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849
The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse: Kiyowara no Fukyabu
(Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki: Kiyowara no Fukyabu)
signed zen Hokusai manji, with censor's seal kiwame (approved), and publisher's seal partially obscured by the black bokashi but likely Eijudo of Ise Sanjiro, ca. 1835-36
oban yoko-e 10 by 14 7/8 in., 25.4 by 37.8 cm
The poem by Kiyowara no Fukayabu, active in the early 10th century, refers to the brevity of a summer night.
Natsu no yo wa
Mada yoi nagara
Kumo wo izuko ni
In the summer night
While the evening still seems here
Lo! the dawn has come
In what region o the clouds
Has the wandering moon found place?
The large boat on the left is the floating restaurant or geisha house, Kawaichi Maru, partially identified by the sign, Kawaichi, cropped by the composition at left. The red lanterns further clarify: Shimpan Kawaichi Maru (lit. 'newly published first river boat'), which is likely a reference to the new publisher, Ise, taking over production of the series from Nishimura Eijudo. Curiously, rather than use the mon or seal of the long-standing Ise-ya publishing house, Ise Sanjiro used a similar Eijudo seal (utilizing different kanji) as Nishimura Yohachi. It is thought that perhaps Ise acquired the Eijudo firm, and its workers (particularly because the quality of this series is consistent throughout production), and as such, chose to finish (only) this series under the Eijudo name.
Peter Morse, Hokusai: One Hundred Poets, 1989, p. 90-91, no. 36
Matthi Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and Drawings, 1991, no. 81
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site last updated
August 5, 2020
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New York, New York 10019
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