Plate: 37 x 12.9 cm (14 9/16 x 5 1/16 inches)
Signature / Inscription / Marks
Inscription verso, bottom left: MIC-3-5 [Japanese Characters]; in a later hand inscribed verso, bottom right: MOC [Japanese Characters]Poem: Nodokasa ni/yawaraka ni naru/chikara kobu Gently nurtured/in complete tranquility/bundles of muscle (trans. Marks in Bogel) Poem signed Arimatsu preferable reading to yasuraka in BogelThe "bundles of muscle" above refer to the plum's branches hardened in the winter which will soften in the early spring. "Chikara kobu" means "muscles" but "kobu" also means bumps, which may refer to the buds popping out of the more yielding branches: Nurtured in serenity hard branches relax and budThere is no word "gently"; perhaps it better taken as nurtured in serenity (winter) hard branches loose their tension (spring). Another reading for kobu is bump, protruberance, like a bud.
StateSee Bogel entries for this example and 34.171 for the differences between the two states. This is the earlier state with finer printing and coloration and lacking the moon and darker blue ground.
Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.