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Woman as the Poet Bunya No Yasuhide from the series "Fashionable Women Disguised as the Six Immortal Poets": Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Eishi was a member of a samurai family. Perhaps as a result of the protracted peace under Tokugawa rule, he studied painting under the sho_gun's court- appointed artist, Kano_ Eisen (1696-1731) and eventually was recognized for his own painting accomplishments. Despite this reputable background, Eishi seems to have had a particular interest in designing prints and paintings in the ukiyo-e style, a predilection that caused him to resign his hereditary position. His images of women are admired for their elegance and restraint. He also revived the practice of depicting modern women in the guise of famous poets from Japan's classical past, a theme popular among early ukiyo-e artists. Here he depicts a woman as the 9th century poet Bunya no Yasuhide. She holds a lacquered cap of the type typically worn by courtiers like Yasuhide. His poem, first recorded in the Kokinwakashu_ of 906, appears above:

Wind blown from a mountain

Storming around the autumn field

That may be why the word "storm"

Consists of the characters of

Wind and mountain

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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009