The Lesser Water Dragon Year of the Tenpô Era (Tenpô mizunoe tatsu): Chinese Beauty with Dragon-headed Lute

「天保 壬辰」 唐美人

Edo period
1832 (Tenpô 3)
Artist Totoya Hokkei (Japanese, 1780–1850)

Catalogue Raisonné

McKee, Colored in the Year's New Light (Becker coll. exh. ca., 2008), #97


Shikishiban; 21 x 18.5 cm (8 1/4 x 7 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (surimono); ink and color on paper

Not On View


Asia, Prints and Drawings



Poems translated in McKee 2008, p. 196.


Poem by Shio Hibimasu from Biwashima ["Lute Island'] in Owari: Kyô to ieba/ kara no yo no biwa/ hikisomen/ toshi sae tatsu no/ kashira narikeri
Poem by Tatsuya, with Preface: Toshi no hajime yomogi-ga-shima no miyai ni môdete Myôon-in no Otodo hata Yôtaishin no furukoto nado omoi idete....
Poem: Kumomi-yama/ yurugi ya iden/ hikisome no/ taenaru tatsu no/ biwa no neiro ni


Ôju Hokkei ga


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[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