Poem by Sei Shônagon, from the series Five Poetic Immortals of the Pear-blossom Courtyard (Nashitsubo gokasen)

「梨壷五歌仙 清少納言」

Japanese
Edo period
1843–44 (Tenpô 14–Kôka 1)
Artist Utagawa Kunisada I (Toyokuni III) (Japanese, 1786–1864), Publisher Wakasaya Yoichi (Jakurindô) (Japanese)


Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 35.6 x 24.5 cm (14 x 9 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

11.43037

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

MFA impressions: 11.21932 (first edition), 11.43036 (first edition), 11.43037 (later edition with different head)

Inscription

Poem: Yo o komete/ tori no sorane wa/ hakaru to mo/ yo ni ausaka no/ seki wa yurusaji

「夜をこめて鳥のそらねははかるとも世にあふさかの関はゆるさじ」

Signed

Kôchôrô Kunisada ga

香蝶楼国貞画

Markings

Censor's seal: Watari
No blockcutter's mark

改印:渡
彫師:なし

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection