Hokusai: The Poet Fumiwara no Tadahira (Teishin Ko)

Katsushika Hokusai

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Artist: Katsushika Hokusai
Title: The Maple Leaves of Ogura
Series: One Hundred Poeems [By the Hundred Poets] as Told by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki)
Date: ca. 1835

Lord Teishin (Teishin Kô) is the posthumous name of Fumiwara no Tadahira (880-949). He was a powerful prime minister as well as a poet. The subject of this design is Emperor Uda (868-931), who was the first emperor to abdicate and become a Buddhist monk. His son was the great emporer Daigo. Uda found the autumn colors of Mount Ogura so beautiful that he had Tadahira write a poem as invitation for his son to visit. The poem reads “If the maple leaves/ On the ridge of Ogura/ Have the gift of mind/ They will longingly await/ One more august pilgrimage”. The scene is autumn at the temple compound. We see monks to the left, one bowing and welcoming the standing young man. This must be the retired emperor and the reigning emperor.  Near the young emperor are three courtiers, who might be the poet and his two sons. To the right is the imperial wagon beneath a pine tree. We see Hokusai’s famous “glove clouds” at the bottom, making the scene appear as through the mists of history. With the seal of the famous collector Hayashi Tadamasa, lower right.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. 
Dimensions: horizontal ôban (25.4 x 36.9 cm)
Publisher: Eijudô
Literature: See Morse’s “Hokusai; One Hundred Poets”, plate 26, page 72.
Seal: Eijudô and Hayashi Tadamasa (collector)
Signature: Zen Hokusai manji


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