Artist: Torii Kiyomasu II
Title: Sotoba Komachi (Komachi Among the Tombs)
Date: early 1730s
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This portrays the seventh and final episode in the life of the ninth-century court lady and poet, Ono no Komachi, one of the Six “Poetry Immortals” (Rokkasen). The poem in the cloud pattern reads: “If she were really in heaven, there would be pity, but in this world no one pays attention to her.” This type of heart-shaped print is known as haribako-e, literally, “pictures to decorate boxes”. It was very popular in the Kyöhö era (1716-1736) during the Edo period, and quickly died out soon after. People cut haribako-e out and pasted them on boxes for small objects such as paper books and letter sets. (from Original Intent exhibition 11/21/06-)