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Yonen jidai no Sesshu (The Child Sesshu) / Ichimoku-shu (First Thursday Collection, Vol 4)

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1987,0316,0.578

  • Title (object)

    • Yonen jidai no Sesshu (The Child Sesshu)

    Title (series)

    • Ichimoku-shu (First Thursday Collection, Vol 4)
  • Description

    Colour woodblock print. Young Buddhist monk tied to pillar, crying, next to image of rat (story of young Sesshu). Unnumbered. Inscribed and sealed.

  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1948
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 34.6 centimetres
    • Width: 27.6 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        top left
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yonen jidai no Sesshu
      • Inscription Comment

        incorporated into image
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        image, bottom right
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Yamaguchi
      • Inscription Comment

        artist's seal
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Position

        reverse, bottom left
      • Inscription Language

        English
      • Inscription Content

        RV
      • Inscription Comment

        seal of the Vergez Collection
  • Curator's comments

    Smith 2002

    The pigments are very thick, and some have soaked through to the back of the paper; they appear to be a partial reversion to the oil-based pigments the artist preferred earlier in his career (Merritt, Helen, 'Modern Japanese Prints: The Early Years', Honolulu, 1990, p. 229). The title is in a form of seal-script suitable for the subject matter. The story here is a legend told of the great Japanese ink-painter Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506). As a Zen acolyte in Hofuku-ji Temple he was tied to a post of the temple by his instructor, who was angry that he cared only about painting and not his other studies. On returning later, the instructor found what he thought was a lifeless rat at Sesshu's feet, which it turned out he had painted with his tears, using his toe (The story appears as early as 1693, in Kano Eino, 'Honcho gashi').2 The reasons for the choice of such a resonant subject for this portfolio is a matter for speculation, but it may well be a reference to the continuing occupation of Japan.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Smith 2002 32 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2002, 4 Sep-1 Dec, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japanese Prints during the Allied Occupation 1945-1952'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1987

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1987,0316,0.578

Colour woodblock print. Crying infant. Seals.

Recto

Colour woodblock print. Crying infant. Seals.

Image description

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Object reference number: JCF13159

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