Poem by Sangi Takamura from the series One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets (Hyakunin isshu no uchi)

Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳 (1798-1861)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. 1840-42
Ink and color on paper
H x W (overall): 36.2 x 25.6 cm (14 1/4 x 10 1/16 in)
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

Anne van Biema collection, boat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, oban, ukiyo-e
Provenance research underway.

A poem from the collection, One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (Hyakunin isshu), inspired this print from a series by Kuniyoshi. The poem was composed by the courtier Sangi Ono no Takamura (802-852), the leading poet of his time, who was esteemed for his knowledge of Chinese literature and his ability to compose poetry in Chinese. The imagery chosen to illustrate the poem refers to its composition just as the poet was setting out by boat for Oki Island, where he was exiled in 837 for refusing to join a diplomatic mission to China. The poem reads:

 O, tell her, at least,
 that I have rowed out, heading toward
 the innumerable isles
 of the ocean's wide plain,
 you fishing boats of the sea-folk!

Translation of poem by Joshua S. Mostow (Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin isshu in Word and Image [Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1996])

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 122, pp. 298-299.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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