Su Shi (Dongpo) in a Bamboo Hat and Clogs

Artist: Inscribed by Zuigan Ryūsei (Japanese, 1384–1460)

Artist: Inscribed by Chikkō Zengo (Japanese, died after 1464)

Artist: Inscribed by Kyūen Ryūchin (Japanese, died 1498)

Artist: Inscribed by Nankō Sōgen (Japanese, 1378–1463)

Artist: Inscribed by Kōshi Ehō (Japanese, 1414–ca.1465)

Period: Muromachi period (1392–1573)

Date: before 1460

Culture: Japan

Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Dimensions: Image: 42 3/4 x 13 1/8 in. (108.6 x 33.3 cm)
Overall with mounting: 74 1/2 x 17 5/8 in. (189.2 x 44.8 cm)
Overall with rollers: 74 1/2 x 17 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (189.2 x 44.8 x 50.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

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: 1975.268.39


A lone figure wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sandals trudges through a murky landscape. Above, five prominent Japanese Zen monks from the monasteries in Kyoto have brushed poems in Chinese, celebrating China’s most famous literatus, Su Shi (1037–1101), here called by his sobriquet “Dongpo.” Su Shi and his writings were beloved in medieval Japan. The event recalled in the quickly brushed image and poems occurred when the aged scholar was in exile on the remote southern island of Hainan. Caught in a sudden downpour, he borrowed a peasant’s straw hat and clogs and continued on his way, while the villagers laughed at his outlandish appearance. The opening poem by Zuigan Ryūsei sets the scene.