Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper
Image (each): 15 × 10 in. (38.1 × 25.4 cm)
The Howard Mansfield Collection, Purchase, Rogers Fund, 1936
Not on view
This triptych recalls one of the most popular episodes from the tenth-century literary classic, the Ise monogatari (The Tales of Ise), a series of poems on love and journeying accompanied by brief textual notes. This episode tells of a young aristocrat who happens upon a place called Eight Bridges, where a river branches into eight channels, each spanned by a bridge. Admiring the lush growth of irises, he composes a poem of five lines, each beginning with one syllable of the Japanese word for iris, which immortalized the flower's association with the place. The poem expresses his longing for a loved one left behind in the capital:
I have a beloved wife, Familiar as the skirt Of a well-worn robe, And so this distant journeying Fills my heart with grief.
Signature: Yushido Shuncho ga; Seal: Churin
Inscription: Right sheet: Daimonjiya uchi Mayuzaumi Names of Kamurō: Shigeki Naname
Center sheet: Tamaya uchi Shizuka Names of Kamurō: Hanano Tomeki
Left sheet: Ōgiya uchi Yūbae Names of Kamurō: Wakaba Kaide
Howard Mansfield , New York (until 1936; sold to MMA)
Nagoya City Museum. "Ukiyo-e from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 14, 1995–May 28, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Beautiful Country: Yamato-e in Japanese Art," November 20, 2010–June 5, 2011.