attributed to Nijo Tameuji (1222-1286)


square poem card, sumi ink on paper; the composition of the poem by Fujiwara no Teishi (976-1030) from the anthology Shika Wakashu (Collection of Verbal Flowers, compiled ca. 1151-54); the calligraphy attributed to Nijo Tameuji, unsigned, Kamakura Period, 13th century

painting 3 1/2 by 3 3/4 in., 9 by 9.5 cm
overall 51 1/8 by 13 in, 130 by 33 cm

This forlorn love poem by Fujiwara no Teishi (976-1030) was included in the late Heian Period (794-1192) imperial anthology Shika Wakashu (Collection of Verbal Flowers). The anthology of 411 poems arranged in ten volumes was compiled ca. 1151-54 by Fujiwara no Akisuke (1090-1155), one of the Rokujo ('Six Immortal Poets') at the request of the Emperor Sutoku (1119-1164).

Mutoshi ni zo
Kimiha kimasemu Sumiyoshi no
Matsubeki mikoso
Itaku oinure
—Ichijo Kogou
(Fujiwara no Teishi)

It has been six years
since last time you were in Sumiyoshi
My body and mind
Have grew old

—Fujiwara no Teishi (976-1030)

The calligraphy was attributed to the poet courtier Nijo Tameuji (1222-1286) by Kohitsu Ryonin (a member of the Kohitsu family- traditional collectors and authorities on works of this type). He certifies the work on the storage box: the outer lid inscribed, Nijo ke Tameuji Kyo hitsu (by Nijo Tameuji), the interior lid titled Aichi gire, followed by the text of the poem, and dated and signed, kinotoushi rokugatsu (1925, June) Kohitsu Ryonin with kao. The Kohitsu family are so closely associated with works of this type their name is used to define the genre.

This poem is considered an example of kohitsu, a term referring to pre-modern Japanese poetry and calligraphy from scrolls or albums, primarily copies of poems from anthologies dating from the Heian Period (794-1192) to the early Muramachi Period (1392-1573). Well into the modern period, rare kohitsu were separated into segments called kohitsu-gire, and usually mounted as hanging scrolls to be displayed in a tea room. This particular work, is further identified as an Aichi-gire, in reference to the Aichi Province where it is believed to have been cut (from 'kire' or 'gire') from its original anthology.



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site last updated
October 14, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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