Poems with floral decoration

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Artist: Kojima Soshin (1580-ca. 1656)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1652
Handscroll; ink and color on gold-decorated paper
H x W (overall): 29.2 x 708.8 cm (11 1/2 x 279 1/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


cursive script, Edo period (1615 - 1868), flower, Japan, poems
Provenance research underway.

On paper decorated with detailed paintings of fields of flowers seen through bands of golden mist are selected Japanese poems, many of them originally composed for poetry competitions. The calligraphy of Kojima Shoshin, a disciple of Koetsu, is written in a style that reflects his master's manner of writing Japanese poems in relatively large scale cursive hiragana combined with Chinese characters selected for emphasis. His technique exaggerates the turns of the brush and the transitions between thin and thick strokes. Accents of dark ink appear more regularly than in Koetsu's work, reducing the tonal variety of the writing. Relatively little is known about Soshin's life but, like his teacher, he seems to have had close contacts among the skilled craftsmen of Kyoto.

Published References
  • Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 30, pp. 90-91.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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