Image: 37 x 25.6 cm (14 9/16 x 10 1/16 inches)
Signature / Inscription / Marks
[text and poems] Poem: Fukamigusa shishi no irodori Fukigusa/ komo jizai ni/ shishio no/ hana mo hana nare/ hana mo hana nareFukamigusa (peony) shishi (lion) no irodori (coloring) Peonies decorated with lionsFukigusa (peony)/ komo jizai ni(freely)/ shishio (lion king) no/ hana (nose) mo hana (flower) nare/ hana (flower) mo hana (nose) nareThe meaning of the poem is just as you see in the image. Peony flowers are lions' noses and lions' noses are peony flowers.Although a more literal rendering based on the above is correct, an uncredited freer translation (especially the last line) is given in the RISD cat. file:How effortlessly the lions [kings of animals] exchange their noses for petals and become peonies [kings of flowers]; such opulent abundance in a plant!"(trans. RISDM cat. file) Verse signed Hanagaki no Tamajakushi (Tadpole drawing flowers by a flower-covered fence, playing on the words "hana" for flower and for nose; the tadpole also symbolized transmutation)
Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.