Excerpts from The Tale of Genji
Calligraphy by Ono no Ozū (Ono no Tsū) Japanese
Paintings by an artist of the Tosa School Japanese
Not on view
Calligraphy in the distinctive style of Ono no Otsū, one of the most prominent woman calligraphers of premodern Japan, graces sheets of decorated paper in this pair of albums with scenes from The Tale of Genji painted by an anonymous Tosa-school artist. Otsū wrote mostly in kana, interspersed with flamboyantly rendered kanji for poetically evocative words. The sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic variations in the weight of the brushstrokes and the radical spacing between characters and clusters of characters are trademarks of her style. Otsū also demonstrated her mastery of the “scattered writing” technique, whereby she artfully disposed the registers of the poem across the page and sometimes positioned lines of the poem out of sequence.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.