Exhibitions/ Art Object

松花堂昭乗書・伝俵屋宗達下絵 立葵下絵和歌色紙 藤原興風
Poem by Onakatomi Yoshinobu with Underpainting of Hollyhocks

Calligraphy by Shōkadō Shōjō (Japanese, 1584?–1639)
Underpainting attributed to Tawaraya Sōtatsu (Japanese, died ca. 1640)
Edo period (1615–1868)
early 17th century
Poem card (shikishi) mounted as a hanging scroll; ink, gold, and silver on colored paper
Image: 7 15/16 x 6 15/16 in. (20.2 x 17.6 cm) Overall with mounting: 53 1/4 x 20 5/8 in. (135.3 x 52.4 cm) Overall with knobs: 53 1/4 x 23 in. (135.3 x 58.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Jackson Burke Gift, 1979
Accession Number:
Not on view
At the beginning of the seventeenth century there was a renewed interest in classical literature. Eminent calligraphers of the day—including Hon’ami Kōetsu, who also created tea bowls and designed lacquer, and Shōkado Shōjō, a Shingon monk—turned to the painter Tawaraya Sōtatsu and his studio to create beautiful underpainting for their handscrolls and poem cards destined for wealthy patrons. Here, Shōkado Shōjō has transcribed an ancient poem exalting the emperor by Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu (921–991):

Chitose made
kagireru matsu mo
kyō yori wa
kimi hikarete
yorozuyo ya hemu

Though pine trees are said
to live a thousand years,
the pine shoot plucked
by His Majesty, however,
will flourish forever.
—Trans. John T. Carpenter
Signature: Onakatomi Yoshinobu Ason (Lord Onakatomi Yoshinobu)

Chitose made (Even the pines that last a thousand years-
Kagireru matsu mo How many generations will they live after Kyo yori wa you have pulled them up?)
Kimi ni hikarete
Yorozu yo ya hemu (Translation by Andrew Pekarik)
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