Katsushika Hokusai: Minamoto no Töru - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Katsushika Hokusai

Title: Minamoto no Töru

Date: c. 1833 - 1834

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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The subject of this print derives from a Noh play, Töru, written by Zeami, a Noh actor and a celebrated Noh playwright of the early Muromachi period (1392-1573). Töru, a poet, was the son of a ninth-century emperor. The prince served as Minister of the Left in the imperial court. He had an extravagant flair for landscape gardening; he built a pavilion near the Kamo River and a vast garden designed in imitation of Shiogama Bay in Oshu province (present-day Miyagi prefecture), the best-known scenic area around Matsuhima Bay. Daily he carried salt water from the Osaka Bay to his pond, where he kept a variety of fish and shellfish. Here the minister, with his fan over his shoulder, appears to be reciting his poetry to his loyal retainers. As in other prints in the series, the techniques of wood-block carving and printing are superb, enhancing Hokusai's composition. (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, “Hokusai and Hiroshige”, 1998)

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