One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each Explained by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki), Kamakura no Udaijin

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai θ‘›ι£ΎεŒ—ζ–Ž (1760-1849)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1835-1836
Ink on paper
H x W (sheet and image): 25.8 x 37.8 cm (10 3/16 x 14 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


bird, child, Edo period (1615 - 1868), hanshita-e, Japan, man, water
Provenance research underway.

This approach provides Hokusai the opportunity for multiple puns.  For example, in Cherry through the Gate, workmen are shown pulling an entire cherry tree through the gate of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto.  The poem was composed by Lady Ise on order of the Emperor Ichijo (ruled 987-1012) to commemorate the reception of one delicate, blossoming cherry branch from a courtier.  Hokusai's interpretation plays on the poem's vague language and is quite literal as it envisions the whole tree's arrival, perhaps suggesting present-day vulgarity contrasted with court elegance of a bygone era.  Only twenty-seven of the prints were completed, however drawings such as these are extant for at least sixty four more subjects.

Published References
  • Theodore Bowie. The Drawings of Hokusai. Bloomington. fig. 43.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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