Hokusai Woodblock 100 Poems by 100 Poets
Three couples are depicted enjoying themselves on the bridge over the Tatsuta River. The Tatsuta River located near the Horyjuj Temple in Nara is an excellent location to view maples in Autumn. The red maples lining its banks and the fallen leaves floating along the river are a landmark for sightseers during the season.
It is evening as suggested by the orange coloring. It is autumn as depicted by the red leaves flowing in the stream and the sheaves of rice standing in the fields. The farmer at the left has a full load of sheaves on his back. The couple at the top with the man carrying a small boy are clearly of a higher rank than the others as seen from their clothing. There are also two men by the riverbank engaged in net fishing.
The Oban Yoko sized woodblock print has a poem by Ariwara No Narihira who is one of the Rokkasen (six immortal poets). He was exiled as punishment for an affair with the Empress.
The poem on the woodblock print reads:
Chihayaburu Unheard of
kami yo mo kikazu Even in the age
Tatsutagawa Of the Mighty Gods
Mizu kukuru to wa Died in Tatsuta’s waters
Dimensions: Oban-yoko-e Height 25.2 cm Width 37.3 cm
Signed: zen Hokusai Manji | Censors seal: kiwame | Publishers seal: Iseya Sanjiro (Eijudo)
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Hokusai Katsushika – 1760-1849
Hokusai was completely obsessed by producing ukiyo-e (woodcut prints). He lived for nothing else working from early in the morning until after sunset. The art name Gakyo-rojin, which he used from 1834-1849 means old man mad with painting.