Koban: 22.5 x 16.4 cm (8 7/8 x 6 7/16 inches)
Signature / Inscription / Marks
Inscription verso, near bottom left: 6364; in a later hand verso, near bottom center:X3825 [Japanese Characters] [text and poems] Furoshiki no (translates to) Ivy arabesques iro mo utsukushi (translates to)colorful as a kerchief koyo no/shigure ni somuru (translates to)tinted with the dyes tsuta no karakusa (translates to)of autumn maple leaves mixed in summer shower rain (trans. Marks in Bogel)See translation notes in Bogel.As shigure, intermittent rain, is a season word (kigo) for early winter and ivy a symbol of autumn, "summer" in the translation above is confusing. Although Marks makes an acceptable argument for the substitution of "kerchief" for "wrapping cloth" (furoshiki) one might consider a more literal, less poetic translation: Arabesques of ivy in the drizzling rain, like wrapping cloths dyed the gorgeous color of maplesThis poem, signed Hachijintei, appears on 34.260 (Published Kobayashi, no. 322; Bogel, pl. 69 [with synonyms kashikushi substituted for utsukushi and momiji for koyo]). The wording of the poem is ambiguous. The poet may be inside looking at a furoshiki patterned with arabesques of ivy while it is raining intermittently outside or he may be seeing the patterns of red ivy as crimson squares of cloth.
Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.