Haku-gire

Haku-gire

attributed to Fujiwara no Tameie (1198-1275)

Haku-gire

poem card mounted as a hanging scroll, ink on paper decorated with silver and gold flakes; the composition of the poem by Minamoto no Kunizane (1069-1111) from the poetry anthology, Kin'yo Wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves completed ca. 1127); the calligraphy attributed to Fujiwara no Tameie, unsigned; Kamakura Period, 13th century

painting: 7 7/8 by 5 1/2 in, 20 by 14 cm
overall: 50 3/4 by 14 3/4 in., 129 by 37.5 cm

This poem is from the imperial anthology of Japanese waka verse, Kin'yo Wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves) compiled by Minamoto no Shunrai (ca. 1114-1204) under the direction of the retired Emperor Shirakawa (1053-1129). The anthology of 716 poems comprised 10 volumes; the first draft was completed in 1124 and a second draft in 1127. This poem is one of thirty-seven works by the poet Minomoto no Kunizane (1069-1111) which were included in the Kin'yo Wakashu. Kunizane was a courtier who contributed to the poetry anthology compiled by Shirakawa's father, Emperor Horikawa (1079-1107), Horikawa-in Ontoki Hyakka Waka (Emperor Horikawa's 100 Selected Waka Poems). The calligrapher, Fujiwara no Tameie (1198-1275), was a poet who also compiled his own anthologies. His father, Fujiwara no Teika (or Sadaie, 1162-1241), is credited with compiling one of the most famous anthologies, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each), while Tameie lived in the Ogura district of Kyoto.

Arakarishi
Kazenonochiyori
taenureba
kumodenisugaku
itoniyaaruran

You stopped visiting me since that stormy day
Just like the spider's web that is about to break
Is your love fragile?

Tameie faithfully records a passage which describes how the poetry was shared:

Kunizane kyo ke
uta awase ni yoru no ko
kokoro wo yomeru

At the poetry gathering
held at Kunizane
this love poem was read

Accompanied by a storage box inscribed with the attribution and title (the first line of the poem) on the lid: Tameie hitsu Haku gire, Kinyoshu dai nana, Arakarishi, and signed Fukuda Yukio with one seal. Fujuda Yukio (b. 1947), a third generation traditional paper craftsman, is a contemporary scholar and collector of Kohitsu-gire (poetry and calligraphy fragments of this type).

Published:
Yamato Uta Sen-nen (Forever, These Leaves of the Word: Masterpieces from the Golden Age of Japanese Poetry), The Gotoh Museum, Tokyo, 2005, p. 33, plate 141

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site last updated
September 14, 2019

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