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Suzuribako (Writing Box): Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
For this writing box, the renowned lacquer artist Yo_yu_sai was inspired by a poem that occurs in the 9th century Tales of Ise, attributed to the courtier Ariwara Narihira (depicted on the cover of the box). When the protagonist of the story (possibly Narihira himself) comes upon a marsh of blossoming irises, he composes a poem beginning each line with a syllable from the Japanese word for iris (kakitsubata):

Karogoromo I have a beloved wife

Kitsutsu narenishi Familiar as the skirt

Tsuma shi areba Of a well-worn robe

Harubaru kinuru And so, this distant journeying

Tabi o shi zo omou. Fills my heart with grief.

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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009