Exhibitions/ Art Object
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八橋図屏風
Irises at Yatsuhashi (Eight Bridges)

Artist:
Ogata Kōrin (Japanese, 1658–1716)
Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
after 1709
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on gold leaf on paper


Dimensions:
Image (each screen): 64 7/16 in. x 11ft. 6 3/4 in. (163.7 x 352.4 cm)
Overall (each screen): 70 1/2 in. x 12 ft. 2 1/4 in. (179.1 x 371.5 cm)
Classification:
Screens
Credit Line:
Purchase, Louisa Eldridge McBurney Gift, 1953
Accession Number:
53.7.1, .2
Not on view
The stately, vertical forms of irises set against an angular bridge that sweeps diagonally across both screens refer to an episode in The Ise Stories (Ise monogatari). Exiled from Kyoto after an affair with a high-ranking court lady, the story’s protagonist stops at Yatsuhashi, a place where a stream branches into eight channels, each with its own bridge. The sight of irises prompts him to compose a nostalgic love poem. The first syllable of each line forms the Japanese word for irises (kakitsubata). The English translation, though unable to convey the complex wordplay of the original, is also an acrostic:

Karagoromo
kitsutsu narenishi
tsuma shi areba
harubaru kinuru
tabi o shi zo omou

I wear robes with well-worn hems,
Reminding me of my dear wife
I fondly think of always,

So as my sojourn stretches on

Ever farther from home,

Sadness fills my thoughts.
—Trans. John T. Carpenter
#8885. Eight Bridges (Yatsuhashi)
: / 
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Signature: Seisei Kōrin (right screen); Hokkyō Kōrin (left screen)
Seal: Masatoki (both screens)

Marking:
Marquis Ikeda , Tottori (sale; Tokyo Bijutsu Kurubu, Tokyo, 1919; to Heisando) ; [ Heisandō Co., Ltd. , Tokyo; sold to Mutō Sanji] ; Mutō Sanji , Japan (sold to Sometani Kanji) ; [ Sometani Kanji , Kyoto; sold to Mizutani Nisaburō]. ; [ Mizutani Nisaburō , Kyoto; sold to Yamanaka & Co]. ; [ Yamanaka & Co. , Kyoto, 1953; sold to MMA].
New York. Asia House Gallery. "Byōbu: Japanese Screens from New York Collections," January 14, 1971–March 14, 1971.

Tokyo National Museum. "Rimpa: Outstanding Works of the Korin School," October 10, 1972–December 3, 1972.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Courtly Romance in Japanese Art," May 12, 1989–July 12, 1989.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Kodai-ji Lacquer," 1995.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seasonal Pleasures in Japanese Art, Part II," May 1, 1996–September 8, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part Two)," April 27, 1998–September 27, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1999.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blossoms of Many Colors: A Selection from the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art," March 21, 2000–August 9, 2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sense of Place: Landscape in Japanese Art," May 8, 2002–September 8, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Great Waves: Chinese Themes in the Arts of Korea and Japan II," March 22, 2003–September 21, 2003.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Spring and Summer," December 17, 2005–June 4, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.

Tokyo. Nezu Museum. "Korin: National Treasure Irises of the Nezu Museum and Eight-Planked Bridge of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 21, 2012–May 20, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.

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