Ariwara no Narihira


Ariwara no Narihira
Print   (Part of the set: Nature and Landscape Collection)

O-Edo Mokuhansha

40.50 cm
26.60 cm


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


In a very unusual move by the publisher, this set includes four designs by Hokusai taken from one of his final print sets, the 百人一首 乳母かゑとき (Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki - The Hundred Poems as Told by the Nurse). 'Nurse' here is used in the sense of a 'wet-nurse', a woman taking care of children, and explaining things to them ...

The series was never finished, but many of the preparatory sketches and block drawings did get preserved (a group of them in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London).

None of the other major reproduction houses (Takamizawa, Adachi, Watanabe, etc.) made reproductions of these prints; they for the most part stuck to Hokusai's more famous designs. Perhaps the owner of the O-Edo company was a big fan of the poetry ...

The poem can be read:
All red with leaves Tatsuta's stream
So softly purls along,
The everlasting Gods themselves,
Who judge 'twixt right and wrong,
Ne'er heard so sweet a song.

Another Search

Snow on Mt. Haruna
Peonies and Bird