Page from the Collection of Poems by Lady Ise (Ise shū)


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Elegant strands of kana calligraphy in varying ink tones impart a sense of subtle rhythmic movement to this page of decorated paper. Printed in mica with impressed floral patterns and stylized peacocks, the paper was then further embellished with printed silver designs of pine branches, various other plants, and abstractly rendered birds in flight. The page was originally part of a set of personal poetry collections of thirty-six famous poets from ancient to Heian times, referred to as the Nishi-Honganji Edition of the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals (Nishi-Honganji-bon Sanjūrokunin kashū).

Page from the Collection of Poems by Lady Ise (Ise shū), Page from a booklet mounted as a hanging scroll; ink on decorated paper, Japan

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