Exhibitions/ Art Object

尾形乾山筆 定家詠十二ヶ月和歌花鳥図「拾遺愚草』より六月
“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)
Credit Line:
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
Accession Number:
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.
Signature: Seal: Tōzen
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