Crow on Shrine Gate


Crow on Shrine Gate
Print   (Part of the set: Akashi-ban Surimono)

Harunobu Gakutei


Print is Public Domain; Photography is:   Creative Commons License


Dave used part of this design in one of his published prints some years ago, and at the time included some of these comments:

Gakutei would have been commissioned to produce this design by members of the Osaka poetry group mentioned in the calligraphy at the top right - 'Oeren' (literally: 'large red group'). This is one of a series of three designs based on the colour red, and is entitled 'First sun', a reference to the first sunrise of the New Year.

The poetry is of the 'kyoka' type, and is full of allusions and wordplay that presumably meant much to the members of the group at the time, but which can now only be translated in a rather meaningless literal sense:

'I don't know where she is, but I can hear Princess Shira-tama playing the pine tree harp in the spring haze. Spring has come, and the east wind blows and shakes the flowers. As the new year dawns, a crow caws, and flies to its nest. It looks like Spring is wearing the clothes of spring haze and the flying crow looks like spots of haze on its sleeve.'

The clouds have been particularly beautifully printed in this image, floating in front of the sun, and the blind-embossing on the crow's wings is also a nice touch.

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