Spring Rain Collection (Harusame shū), vol. 1: “Books from Kanazawa Library” (Kanazawa Bunko) and “Foreign Cat of Shōmyōji Temple” (Shōmyōji no kara neko), from the series History of Kamakura (Kamakura shi)
Kubo Shunman (Japanese, 1757–1820)
Edo period (1615–1868)
early to mid-1810s
Privately published woodblock prints (surimono) mounted in an album; ink and color on paper
7 11/16 x 7 3/16 in. (19.5 x 18.3 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
Surimono are privately published woodblock prints, usually commissioned by individual poets or poetry groups as a form of New Year’s greeting card. The poems, most commonly kyōka (witty thirty-one syllable verse), inscribed on the prints usually include felicitous imagery connected with spring, which in the lunar calendar begins on the first day of the first month. Themes of surimono are often erudite, frequently alluding to Japanese literary classics in both texts and images.
As on the print on the facing page, the inspiration for this design was a chronicle of Kamakura. Both places alluded to in the title are in nearby Yokohama, which served as the eastern gateway of the ancient military capital. Both the Kanazawa Library and the Shōmyōji Temple, founded in the thirteenth century, remain in use today.
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