Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849
The Hundred Poems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse: Ariwara no Narihira Ason [Rokkasen]
(Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki: Ariwara no Narihira Ason)
signed zen Hokusai Manji, with censor's seal kiwame and publisher's seal Eijudo of Ise Sanjiro, ca. 1835-6
oban yoko-e 9 7/8 by 14 5/8 in., 25.2 by 37.3 cm
The print references the poem by the poet Ariwara no Narihira (825-880), who is one of the Rokkasen (Six Immortal Poets). He was apparently exiled as punishment for an affair with the Empress. The Tale of Ise (Ise Monagatari), an anonymous 10th century collection of stories and poems, is believed to be based on his diaries.
kami yo mo kikazu
kara kurenai ni
Mizu kukuru to wa
Even in the age
Of the might gods
These deep crimson splashes
Dyed in Tatsuta's waters
The Tatsuta River, located six miles west of Nara near the Horyuji Temple, has long been considered an ideal place to view red maples in autumn. Much like Mt. Yoshino is famous for its cherry blossoms in the spring, the Tatsuta is famous for the red maples lining its banks and the fallen leaves floating on the water.
Helen Craig McCullough (translation), Tale of Ise: Lyrical Episodes from Tenth-Century Japan, 1968, p. 141, poem no. 106
Matthi Forrer with texts by Edmond de Goncourt, Hokusai, 1988, p. 345, no. 430 (sketch) & no. 431
Peter Morse: Hokusai: One Hundred Poets, 1989, pp. 54-55, no. 17
Matthi Forrer, Hokusai: Prints and Drawings, 1991, no. 78
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai: Il vecchio pazzo per la pittura, 1999, p. 390, no. VI.12.3
Gian Carlo Calza, Hokusai, 2003, p. 378, no. VI.12.3
Ann Yonemura, Hokusai, 2006, p. 100, no. 68
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site last updated
November 30, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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