Artist: Hokusai Katsushika (1760 – 1849)
Title: A Poem by Chunagon Yakamochi
Series: One Hundred Poems Narrated by the Nurse
Publisher: Nishimuraya Yohachi
Dimensions: 25 x 36.5 cm
This print is from the series of One Hundred Poems Narrated by the Nurse, which was published between 1835 and 1838: the last large production of woodblock prints by Hokusai. The artist then focused on Japanese traditional paintings until his death.
The aim of this series was to make it easy to understand the authentic writings of ‘Hyakunin-isshu’ (a collection of Tanka poems from 7th to 13th century). The prints create an intimate atmosphere, which is referenced in the title of this series, making it seem as if the poems are being relayed by a foster mother.
Hokusai created 100 designs overall, however, only 27 images went on to be published due to the publisher’s bankruptcy.
In this print we see Chinese boats moored near a rugged coast, with magpies flying in the sky and a poem by Chunagon Yakamochi in the square cartouche in the top right corner.