Artist: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Woodblock Prints Title: Poem by Ariwara Narihira, from the series One Hundred Poems Explained by the Nurse (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki)
1st Publication: 1835
Size: Horizontal ˘ban; 25 x 37 cm (9 7/8 x 14 5/8 in.)
Date of this edition: 1835
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi (Eijud˘)
Condition: Some green color fading, a thinner area in the upper right corner, else very fine. Very good overall condition.
Notes: The print is signed Zen Saki no Hokusai Manji.
More about this print:
The poet Ariwara no Narihira (825-880) is one of the Rokkasen (6 great poets), and was renowned as a man of culture and as a lover. He ended up in exile, as he had an affair with the empress.
The poems reads :
Chihayaburu, Kami yo mo kikazu, tatsuta-gawa, kara-kurenai ni, mizu kukuru to wa.
It translates by:
I have never heard, that even when the gods held sway, in the ancient days, As was the water sparkle with red, such it is here in Tatta's stream.
The Tatsuta river is a stream only 6 miles long, lying west of Nara. A strong sense of nostalgia remained for the old city in Narihira's time, even though the capital has been moved to Kyoto years before his birth. The Tatsuta is celebrated for its beauty, especially in autumn when the maple leaves turn red, and as some of them drop and get carried along the river.
Pictures: Pictures are taken outdoor, in the shade, to reflect true colors, without any enhancements of any kind. The last picture is taken indoor, with a light behind the print, to reveal the exact paper grain, holes if any, or other possible flaws.