“Sixth Month” from Fujiwara no Teika’s “Birds and Flowers of the Twelve Months”
Ogata Kenzan (Japanese, 1663–1743)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
Image: 6 1/4 x 9 1/8 in. (15.9 x 23.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 43 1/4 x 19 in. (109.9 x 48.3 cm)
Overall with knobs: 43 1/4 x 20 5/8 in. (109.9 x 52.4 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
These small paintings were separated from a group of twelve representing plants and animals symbolic of the twelve months, each inscribed with two poems. For the sixth month, the poems celebrate tokonatsu (wild pinks) and the cormorant, a bird used for night fishing:
Ōkata no hikage ni itō minazuki no sora sae oshiki tokonatsu no hana
Mijika yo no ukawa ni noboru kagaribi no hayaku sugiyuku minazuki no sora
Even though most people dread the sixth month since the sun is so bright, if wild pinks are in bloom then it does have its charms.
On these short nights, flames in iron baskets on cormorant fishing boats pass by quickly and light up the sky of the sixth month.
Artist: Ogata Kenzan (Japanese, 1663–1743)Date: 18th centuryMedium: Clay covered with white and black glazes and decorated on the white parts under the glaze (Kenzan style)Accession: 93.1.180On view in:Not on view
Artist: Ogata Kenzan (Japanese, 1663–1743)Date: ca. 1740Medium: Oblong; dark brown clay; moulded frame and shaped supports glazed black; both faces of screen with ivory glaze, decorated with landscapes in black (Tokyo ware)Accession: 36.120.655On view in:Not on view