National TreasureFragment from the Hon'ami Edition of Kokin Wakashu (Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poems)

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  • Height 16.7cm Width 317.0cm
  • Heian period/11th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲548

This scroll has no written title, but it contains forty-nine waka poems from the twelfth volume ("Poems of Love, II" ) of the early-Heian, official poetry anthology, the Kokin Wakashu. The poems are written on imported, Chinese paper with design of mica-imprinted bamboo and peach blossoms. The characters, spacing and continuous script are remarkable. The highly individual style of calligraphic sryle, traditionally attributed to 0no-no-Michikaze, coupled with the decorative beauty of the paper has given this scroll the highly honorific title, "the finest of the meibutsu-gire (famous calligraphic works)."
This work is said to have been part of the collection of Hon'ami Koetsu, the well-known Momoyama connoisseur-designer, and it is thus known as the "Hon'ami gire."