Important Cultural PropertyDetached segment of the Satake version of Thirty-six Immortal Poets: Sumiyoshi Myoujin (Mibu no Tadamine)

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Images

  • 1 hanging scroll
  • Color on paper
  • 36.6x59.6
  • Kamakura period/13th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • A-12054

This is the oldest remaining piece among the so-called varieties of kasen-e, which depict outstanding poets. Originally, this was a two-volume scroll containing 36 Buddhist poets based on the 36 poets selected by Fujiwara no Kinto and Sumiyoshi Myojin, a god of waka poems. Each one of them was depicted separately with a short biography and a poem. The original was divided when the Satake family abandoned it in 1919.
This one picture is part of the second volume and accompanies the poem "Harutatsuto," which is the first poem of "Shuishu" (the third imperial anthology of waka poems). Mibu no Tadamine was a poet who worked actively from the 9th to 10th century and was one of the selectors for "Kokin Wakashu." Wearing a black kimono and a coronet with oikake (decoration), he looks afar with a soldierly look. It reflects a trend toward nise-e (realistic portrayals in the Kamakura period) that strives to represent a subject as individualistically as possible by drawing details.

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