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Ono no Komachi, from the series Fūryū rokkasen (The Fashionable Six Poetic Immortals)

Suzuki%20Harunobu%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Ono%20no%20Komachi%2C%20from%20the%20series%20F%26%23363%3Bry%26%23363%3B%20rokkasen%20%28The%20Fashionable%20Six%20Poetic%20Immortals%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201768%2C%20color%20woodblock%20print%20with%20light%20embossing%20on%20paper%3B%20ch%26%23363%3Bban%20nishiki-e%2C%20The%20Mary%20Andrews%20Ladd%20Collection%2C%20public%20domain%2C%2032.75
Suzuki Harunobu, Ono no Komachi, from the series Fūryū rokkasen (The Fashionable Six Poetic Immortals), ca. 1768, color woodblock print with light embossing on paper; chūban nishiki-e, The Mary Andrews Ladd Collection, public domain, 32.75

Suzuki%20Harunobu%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Ono%20no%20Komachi%2C%20from%20the%20series%20F%26%23363%3Bry%26%23363%3B%20rokkasen%20%28The%20Fashionable%20Six%20Poetic%20Immortals%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201768%2C%20color%20woodblock%20print%20with%20light%20embossing%20on%20paper%3B%20ch%26%23363%3Bban%20nishiki-e%2C%20The%20Mary%20Andrews%20Ladd%20Collection%2C%20public%20domain%2C%2032.75

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Details
Title

Ono no Komachi, from the series Fūryū rokkasen (The Fashionable Six Poetic Immortals)

Related Titles

original language: 小野小町

series (original language): 風流六哥仙

series (translated): The Fashionable Six Poetic Immortals

series (transliterated): Fūryū rokkasen

transliterated: Ono no Komachi

Artist

Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725?-1770)

Date

ca. 1768

Medium

color woodblock print with light embossing on paper; chūban nishiki-e

Catalogue Raisonné

Chiba 2002, 174; Ukiyoe shūka v. 9, pl. 122

Dimensions (H x W x D)

image: 11 7/16 in x 8 7/16 in; sheet: 11 7/16 in x 8 1/2 in

Inscriptions & Markings

inscription: Fūryū rokkasen // Ono no Komachi // Iro miede / utsurou mono wa / yo no naka no / hito no kokoro no / hana ni zo arikeru 風流六哥仙 // 小野小町 // 色見へて / うつらふものハ / 世の中の / 人のこゝろの / 花にそありける (The Fashionable Six Poetic Immortals: Ono no Komachi: Not changing color yet fading all the same: such is the flower of the heart of one in this world of love.), printed in black within cloud-shaped register, upper middle Language: Japanese Description: Poem by Ono no Komachi (fl. ca. 850), Kokinshū no. 797. English translation by Lewis Cook; see Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, ed. Haruo Shirane (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 109-109 for discussion of possible readings of this poem.

signature: Harunobu ga 春信画 (picture [by] Harunobu), printed in black, center right Language: Japanese

Collection Area

Asian Art; Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Japanese Traditional Prints

Object Type

relief print

Culture

Japanese

Credit Line

The Mary Andrews Ladd Collection

Accession Number

32.75

Copyright

public domain

Terms

chuban

embossing

Japanese woodblock prints

nishiki-e

poetry

reading

relief printing

relief prints

The Mary Andrews Ladd Collection

Description

A famous love poem by the ninth-century female poet Ono no Komachi hovers in the cloud-shaped register at the top of this print:

iro miede!T!Not changing color utsurou mono wa!T!yet fading all the same: yo no naka no!T!such is the flower of hito no kokoro no!T!the heart of one in hana ni zo arikeru!T!this world of love

Harunobu offers a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of this lament about the fickleness of love. The women's garments, the well-appointed interior, and piles of bedding on a chest identify the setting as a prosperous brothel—perhaps the Wakamatsuya (House of Young Pines). The open letter may be a note of farewell from a client.

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