Important Cultural PropertyNarrative pictures of the Competition among Poets of Different Generations

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  • 1 folded book
  • Ink on paper
  • 28.3x49.6
  • Kamakura period/14th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-19

Jidaifudo-Utaawase-e depicts a fictitious utaawase (poetry contest) that former Emperor Gotoba (1180 – 1239) made up by selecting poets from different ages, where poets of the Kokin Wakashu, Gosen Wakashu and Shui Wakashu are arranged on the left-hand side and those of Goshui Wakashu, Kinyoshu, Shikashu, Senzai Wakasyu and Shin Kokin Wakashu are arranged on the right-hand side. Originally, it was comprised of two volumes containing a total of 150 rounds and this one owned by the Tokyo National Museum is the first volume with 75 rounds. While it was originally in a scroll format, it has been separated and is currently in a gajo format (booklet).
 For the paintings, a hakubyo technique, a technique that primarily uses brush lines in monochromatic ink, is used, where the faces are depicted with relatively fine lines while bold brush lines are employed for the bodies. These facts seem to suggest that the paintings were drawn with a nise-e (realistic portrayal) technique by a group of artists represented by Fujiwara no Nobuzane, who worked around former Emperor Gotoba. While there are other Jidaifudo-Utaawase works that have been handed down to the present, this one is of particular value in that its creation time dates back to the Kamakura period and that this is the only complete first volume that exists now.