Kikuchi Yosai, (1781-1878)
Mt. Fuji, with poem by Unno Yukinori (Yusai, 1794-1848)
hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk; with inscription at upper left with jikkan-junishi zodiac date kanoto-ushi bo shun ('younger brother metal'- [year of the] ox , late spring) and signed Yosai Itsujin, with red artist's seal Unjiku Gyosha; accompanied by a storage box, the exterior lid inscribed Kikuchi Yosai ou hitsu, Fugaku no zu, the interior lid inscribed, Taisho juyonnen shun jitsu, Minamoto Toyohiro shiki (Taisho 14 , spring, certified by Minomoto Toyohiro)
painting: 14 by 32 5/8 in., 35.5 by 83 cm
overall: 51 1/8 by 38 5/8in., 130 by 98 cm
Exhibited & Published:
Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition: Mt. Fuji- Symbol of Japan in Modern Paintings (Fuji, kindai ni tenkai shita Nippon no shocho), June 7 - July 21, 2008, p. 18, catalog no. 20
While this painting appears to be a landscape in admiration of the beautiful Mt. Fuji, the inscription by the artist at the upper left includes the kanji, 'shin' (lit. 'truth'), in reverence to the sacred Mt. Fuji as an object of worship. Devotion to Mt. Fuji is one of the more ancient practices of the Shinto religion. Shinto (the 'Way of the Gods') is the native Japanese worship of nature, ancestors, animals and gods which predates centralized religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, all of which were imported from China beginning in the 6th century. Shinto spiritual practices incorporate regional prehistoric traditions; even as early as the Jomon period (145 BC - 10 BC) sacred places such as large rocks and mountains were worshipped.
The poem at to the right is signed Yusai, the poet name of Unno Yukinori (1789-1848), a poet and scholar of ancient Japanese manuscripts who was active in Edo during the same period as Kikuchi Yosai.
Fuji no newa
kumoto ni yuki no
Snow covering Mt. Fuji
like layers of cloth
snow on the peak harmoniously
blend with surrounding clouds
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site last updated
October 14, 2021
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