Young Beauty Carrying a Child Pulling a Flower Cart
signed Harunobu ga, ca. 1770
chuban tate-e 10 3/8 by 7 5/8 in., 26.2 by 19.4 cm
A teenaged girl, wearing a furisode (lit. 'swinging sleeves') kimono decorated with an alternating pattern of stylized chidori (plovers) and clusters of snow-covered bamboo, walks while holding a small boy in her arms. As she steps forward her kimono opens at the hem to reveal a peek at her bare leg. The child holds a long cord attached to a small flower cart containing a basketwork vase with an arrangement of autumnal leaves and grasses including chrysanthemums and kikyo (bell flowers).
The poem is by Fujiwara no Michitoshi (1047-1099) from the Kin'yo wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves), an anthology of waka poems compiled for the retired Emperor Shirakawa (1053-1129) by Minamoto no Shunrai (ca. 1055-1129) in 1124 and revised in 1129.
magaki no kiku wo
kesa mire ba
mata sora saenu
yuki zo tsumoreru
I get up early
this morning to find flowers
flowering upon my hedge
as if the snow covered it
-Poem reading courtesy of Ryoko Matsuba, translation by Matsuo Shukuya
Henry W. Joly, Japanese Works of Art Selected from the Mosle Collection, E.A. Seemann, Leipzig, 1914, portfolio II, plate CLII, cat. no. 1932
Yoshida Teruji, Harunobu gashu (Harunobu's Complete Works), 1942, p. 131
Art Institute of Chicago (artic.edu), from the Clarence Buckingham Collection, accession no. 1928.919
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site last updated
May 5, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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