鈴木春信画 将棋・三十六歌仙 「中納言兼輔」 A Young Woman and Man Playing Shōgi (Japanese Chess); Chūnagon Kanesuke, from a series alluding to the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals (Sanjūrokkasen)
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
11 1/8 x 8 1/8 in. (28.3 x 20.6 cm)
Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939
Not on view
A young woman watches her male companion make the final moves in a game of shōgi (Japanese chess) next to an andon floor lamp signaling nighttime and a fan indicating summer. The series to which this print belongs links classical poems by thirty-six of the most famous poets of ancient and medieval times with up-to-date images of young men and women in fashionable garb. The ancient poem by Fujiwara no Kanesuke (877–933)—better known by his court title Chūnagon (Middle Captain)—complements the languorous mood of the image:
Mijika yo no fukeyuku mama ni Takasago no mine no matsukaze fuku ka to zo kiku
As this short night deepens, is that the soughing of the wind through pines on the slopes of Mount Tagasago we hear? —Trans. John T. Carpenter
Signature: Suzuki Harunobu ga
Inscription: Poem by Chunayon Kenesuki
Henry L. Phillips , Hyannisport, MA (until d. 1939; bequeathed to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.