- Museum number
Object: Taira no Kanemori 平 兼盛
Series: Hyakunin isshu uba ga etoki 百人一首姥がゑとき (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets, Explained by the Nurse)
Sketch, block-ready preparatory drawing ('hanshita-e') for unpublished print. Poem by Taira no Kanemori, young samurai seeking advice from a roadside physiognomist. Ink on paper.
- Production date
Height: 25.10 centimetres
Width: 37 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Clark 2017
Poem 40: Shinoburedo / iro ni ide ni keri /wa ga koi wa / mono ya omou to / hito no tou made (Even though I hide it, / it shows all over my face, / such is my longing, / so that people ask me / ‘What are you thinking about?’ Trans. Joshua Mostow.) Kanemori’s poem was awarded first place in a poetry contest in ad 960, and it remained a favourite, due to the colloquial question introduced towards the end. In considering this poem, Hokusai seems to have recalled the popular belief that faces could reveal both states of mind and the future, if discerned by a practitioner of the art of physiognomy, or reading faces.
Physiognomists (ninsōmi) set up booths where travellers could have their fortune told, and here a young samurai presents himself for inspection by an expert who holds up a large magnifying glass. The samurai’s entourage – baggage-handlers, retainers and others – stretch along the road, awaiting the expert’s verdict. Hokusai treated this potentially humorous subject with empathy.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017 6 Oct - 19 Nov, Osaka, Abeno Harukas Art Museum
- Acquisition date
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Asia painting number: Jap.Ptg.Add.353 (Japanese Painting Additional Number)