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Sailboat and Mountain with Calligraphy Poem, Mt. Fuji

Accession Number

Sailboat and Mountain with Calligraphy Poem, Mt. Fuji

Tanomura Chokunyû

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
early 20th century

Medium & Support
ink on paper, silk and paper backing

76 in x 18 in (193.04 cm x 45.72 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the Estate of Betty I. Monroe, PhD

Label copy

Tanomura Chokunyū
Japan, 1814–1907
Mount Fuji
Meiji period (1868–1912)
Early 20th century
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Gift of the Estate of Betty I. Monroe, PhD, 2014/2.253

Unlike the Chinese literati (amateur scholar-artists who held government positions and engaged in arts as a pastime), who mainly painted monochromatic landscapes, Japanese literati (professional and amateur artists who modeled themselves after Chinese literati) often worked in a wide range of styles; from landscapes using a variety of brush-strokes modeled after Chinese masters and colorful bird-and-flower painting, to minimalist paintings like this one. It is in the genre called haiga, or haiku painting, where a picture and a poem work together to create an image. Here, Mount Fuji is reduced to a single line and two dots. A boat, represented by a rectangular mast, floats on the cove of Tago. The haiku in this painting

is difficult to decipher, but it is probably a humorous interpretation of the beloved view of Mount Fuji from the cove immortalized in a famous poem by the eighth-century writer Yamabe no Akahito:

Coming out
from Tago’s nestled cove, I gaze:
white, pure white
the snow has fallen
on Fuji’s lofty peak.

(translation by Hideo Levy)

Physical Description
Light green-gold cloth background with a scene of a mountain, a poem and a sailboat.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area

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