Page from the Ishiyama-gire (dispersed volumes of the Anthology of the Thirty-Six Poets) Poet: Ki no Tsurayuki

Calligrapher: Attributed to Fujiwara no Sadanobu (1088-1156)
Author: Ki no Tsurayuki (?-945)
Historical period(s)
Heian period, early 12th century
Album leaf; ink on assembled dyed paper decorated with silver and gold
H x W (overall): 131.8 x 44 cm (51 7/8 x 17 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Calligraphy

Album leaf (mounted as a hanging scroll)

Heian period (794 - 1185), Japan
Provenance research underway.

Two poems of mourning for a friend who has died are written in the elegant Japanese phonetic script known as hiragana. The papers of three colors are joined at the edges and embellished in silver with scattered plants and insects. This page belongs to one of the dispersed volumes called "Ishiyama-gire" from a lavishly decorated Anthology of Thirty-Six Poets. These two verses were composed by Ki no Tsurayuki (872?-ca. 946). Beginning from the right, in three lines, the first poem reads: "A beloved friend whom I met until yesterday is gone today, swept away like mountain clouds." The following verse continues the thought: "How tragic that although we live, whatever we have will surely die."

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Art of Ogata Kenzan: Persona and Production in Japanese Ceramics., 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. fig. 1.
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 2: pl. 43.
  • Michael Kampen O'Riley. Art Beyond the West: The Arts of Western and Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas., 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. fig. 5.13.
  • Rose Hempel. The Golden Age of Japan, 794-1192. New York. fig. 131.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 67, vol. 2: p. 173.
  • Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 22, pp. 72-73.
  • Helen Honcoopová, Joshua Mostow, Makoto Yasuhara. A Book of Fans. Prague, Czech Republic, November 15, 2016. p. 102, fig. 4.
  • Kristopher W. Kersey. Emperor Goshirakawa and the Image of Classical Japan. vol. 34 Washington, 2014. p. 104.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 144-145.
  • et al. The Heritage of World Civilization. combined volume, , 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p. 196.
  • Marilyn Stokstad. Art: A Brief History., 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. p. 223, figs. 9-17.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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