Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Moonlight and calligraphy

Accession Number
1964/1.95

Title
Moonlight and calligraphy

Artist(s)
Sakai Hôitsu

Object Creation Date
1798-1828

Medium & Support
fan painting, ink on paper

Dimensions
8 11/16 in x 19 5/16 in (22.1 cm x 49 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy
In Japan, moon viewing is usually associated with autumn, but Hôitsu avoids that cliché in this image of a summer moon at dawn. This fan was probably painted to accompany the suggestive yet humorous poem inscribed on its surface in a cursive hand; it may be loosely translated as
Damp with the dew of summer grasses, my cloak
is barely dry before
my sleeves are wet with tears
in the moonlight of the dawning sky.
[Adapted from a translation by Milan Mihal.]
“Sleeves wet with tears” is a conventional reference to the sorrow of parting from a lover. The poem thus narrates the complaint of a man who has made a surreptitious night visit (scrambling through the bushes, no less) to visit his paramour but now finds that the night is over before his clothes have dried. Hôitsu’s wet ink washes well match the moist atmosphere of the poem.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
fan painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Japan
album leaf
calligraphy
clouds
fans (costume accessories)
moonlight
moons

3 Related Resources

Celestial bodies
(Part of: Natural World)
Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved