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Print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Emperor Koko, represented by Childs Gallery

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Japanese (1797-1861)

Emperor Koko, c. 1841
Color woodblock

Fifteen in the series, “One Hundred Poems for One Hundred Poets.” Signed on block lower right: “Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi ga”; series and poem inscribed on block upper right. Publisher’s seal lower right: Ebisu-ya Shoshichi. A fine oban tate-e impression in fine condition aside from repaired wormholes in left margin and paper abrasion along right edge, with trimmed margin on bottom and full margins on all other sides.

The series “One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets” was compiled by the thirteenth century poet Fujiwara no Sadaie. Each of the poems are in tanka form, with five lines and thirty-one syllables, and they date from the seventh to the thirteenth century. This poem, by Emperor Koko, reads “It is for your sake / That I walk the fields in spring, / Gathering green herbs, / While my garment’s hanging sleeves / Are speckled with falling snow.” Emperor Koko (830-887) was the 58th imperial ruler of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He reigned from 884 to 887.

Signature: signed on block
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