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Momochidori kyoka awase 百千鳥狂歌合 (Myriad Birds: A Kyoka Competition)

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1915,0823,0.67.1-2

  • Title (object)

    • Momochidori kyoka awase 百千鳥狂歌合 (Myriad Birds: A Kyoka Competition)
  • Description

    Illustrated book, folding album, colour woodblock print. 2 volumes. Poetry contest on theme of birds. Covers: Original, yellow, ?stencil-printed with darker yellow peonies. Title slips: Original, printed on yellow slips pasted in top left corner of covers. Contents: (vol. 1) 10 leaves: 1 double-page preface, 8 double-page illustrations of birds and flowers, 1 double page of advertisement and publisher's colophon; (vol. 2) 9 leaves: 1 double-page preface, 7 double-page illustrations of birds and flowers, 1 double page of advertisement and publisher's colophon (same as vol 1). Illustrations and makes of poets (Vol 1, each page described right to left): 1. Quail (uzura), Tsuburi Hikaru. Skylark (hibari), Zeniya Kinrachi; 2. Penduline tit (yamagara), Ki no Sadamaru. Bush warbler (uguisu), Sunawachi Yuyu; 3. Barn swallow (tsubame), Sakezuki no Komendo. Male pheasant (kiji), Kiri Hitoha; 4. Yellow-billed grosbeak (mamemawashi), Akera Kanko. Male white-backed pecker (kitsutsuki), Shino no Tamawaku; 5. Long-tailed tit (enaga), Magaki no Kikumaru. Japanese white-eye (mejiro), Tawara Funazumi; 6. Copper pheasant (yamadori), Monaka no Tsukimaro. White wagtail (sekirei), Mantokusai; 7. Winter wren (misosazai), Karagoromo Kisshu. Snipe (shigi), Senkyaku Banrai; 8. Domestic fowl (niwatori), Yadoya no Meshimori. Meadow bunting (hojiro), Ashibe Tazumaru. (Vol 2): 9. Scops owl (mimizuku), Ichi no Nakazumi. Bullfinch (uso), Sasaha no Suzunari; 10. Cormorant (u), Torai Sanna. Egret (sagi), Shikatsube no Magao; 11. Great tit (shijukara), Takara no Atsumaru. Japanese robin (komadori), Fumoto no Chikamichi; 12. Tree sparrow (murasuzume), Aya no Orinushi. Rock dove (hato), Sono no Kocho; 13. Jay (kashidori), Oya no Urazumi. Boreal owl (fukuro), Shingoken Birin; 14. Mallard (kamo), Honen Yukimaru. Common kingfisher (kawasemi), Sandara Boshi; 15. Goshawk (taka), Akamatsu Kinkei. Thick-billed shrike (mozu), Hyakkisai. With gauffrage. Inscribed, signed and sealed.

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  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1790 (ca.)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 25.5 centimetres
    • Width: 18.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1, title slip, in top left corner of covers
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        百千鳥狂歌合 前篇
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Momo chidori kyoka-awase, zen-pen
      • Inscription Translation

        Myriad Birds: A Kyoka Competition, Vol. 1
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Position

        publisher's colophon?
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        画工 喜多川歌麿
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Gako Kitagawa Utamaro
      • Inscription Type

        seal
      • Inscription Script

        Japanese
      • Inscription Position

        publisher's colophon?
      • Inscription Content

        歌麿
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Utamaro
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 2 preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        それあつま遊のたハれ哥ハ世につたへると曲とかや 古今後撰の夷曲より吾吟我集のおかしミありて 枕ことはの鳥かなくときこへしハ此続のためにいふなるへしとこたミ鳥に題してはなちたることのはをおとりとして ミそしあまりのつかひとなれるをきつゝきの名もゆかしけれハとミに梓のたくミにめいす ねかハくハ鶴の脛のなかきよのもてあそひにもと鳧の脚の短き才をもて 赤松の金鶏くたかけのくたをまき侍るもかの卵にして 時なふ事を求といひしむかしの人のたくひならすや
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Sore Azuma-asobi no taware-uta wa yo ni tsutaetaru furi to ka ya, ‘Kokin, Gosen’ no hina-buri yori ‘Gogin waga-shu’ no okashimi arite, makura-kotoba no tori ga naku to kikoeshi wa kono hen no tame ni iu naru-beshi to, kotami tori ni dai shite hanachitaru koto-no-ha o otori to shite, misoji amari no tsukai to nareru o kitsutsuki no na mo yukashikereba tomi ni azusa no takumi ni meisu, negawaku wa tsuru no sune no nagaki yo no moteasobi ni mo to keri no ashi no mijikaki sai o mote, Akamatsu no Kinkei kutakake no kuda o maki-haberu mo kano tamago ni shite, tokinau koto o motomuru to iishi mukashi no hito to tagui narazu ya
      • Inscription Translation

        Now, you may ask, what is the style of comic poetry composed in the east (Edo) that has come down to us? It is [to be found] in the playful spirit of anthologies from ‘Kokin waka shu’ and ‘Gosen waka shu’ to ‘Gogin waga-shu’. And it should be said that poetic epithets [for Edo] such as "where the birds do cry" are just ideal for this volume. On this occasion, with birds as the theme, taking the poems we released as decoys, some thirty-odd were selected for use. The woodpecker lived up to his illustrious name and quickly carved these onto printing blocks with great skill. I pray that they will serve as an amusement through the night — long as a crane's legs — I, Akamatsu no Kinkei (Golden Cockerel on a Red Pine), whose talents are as stunted as the legs of a lapwing. And as for this morning-squawker's drunken ramblings, I am a mere egg — not at all like the men of old who expected one to crow at dawn (i.e., pay heed to the time).
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1 preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        それもゝちとりの春にさえつりわたり鳥の秋にくせる いつれか心をなくさめ耳をよろこはしめさらんや そか中に五彩のはねをいろとれるむらとりのたちゐのさまを とりかなくあつまにしき絵にきた川か筆をそめ 飛鳥のあすかの花にめてミやことりのすミたの月にうかるゝされ歌をくハへて 一まきとし鳥のあとひさしくとゝまれとてなん かくはかり出ぬるも思へはくちはし青くしてとさかの色のミ赤まつの金鶏らかくたかけのとりの子をミて うは玉の夜をときなハん事をもとむとかいへる大鵬のそしりをかへりミす ミそさゝゐのよもきか杣の草むすひするものならし
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Sore momo-chidori no haru ni saezuri watari-dori no aki ni kuzeru, izure ka kokoro o nagusame mimi o yorokoba-shimesaran ya, so-ga-naka ni gosai no hane o iro-toreru mura-tori no tachi-i no sama o, tori ga naku Azuma nishiki-e ni Kitagawa ga fude o some, tobu-tori no Asuka no hana ni mede miyako-dori no Sumida no tsuki ni ukaruru zare-uta o kuwaete hito-maki to shi tori no ato hisashiku todomare tote nan, kaku-bakari idenuru mo omoeba kuchibashi aoku shite tosaka no iro nomi Akamatsu no Kinkei-ra ga kutakake no tori-no-ko o mite, ubatama no yo o tokinawan koto o motomu to ka ieru dtori no soshiri o kaerimizu, misosazai no yomogi-ga-soma ni kusa-musubi suru mono naraji
      • Inscription Translation

        Now, be it the mating calls of a myriad birds in spring, or the cries of migrating birds in autumn — do they not equally console the heart and delight the ear? This being so, Kitagawa [Utamaro] has taken up his brush to colour in their feathers of the five hues, and to capture the attitudes of flocking birds in brocade prints of the east (where poets say birds do cry). And marvelling at the blossoms' on Asuka Hill (where poets say birds do fly), moved by the moon over the Sumida River of black-headed gulls, we have added playful poems and made one volume. In doing this we aim to preserve the tracks of the birds for ever. And yet on reflection perhaps I stick my neck out too far while my bill is still green and only my proud cockscomb red. Heedless of the complaints of big birds who, looking at the eggshell pages of Akamatsu no Kinkei [Golden Cockerel on the Red Pine] and other morning squawkers, ask that the cock will not announce the dawn of this raven-black night, shall I not nest down in the mugwort thicket with the tiny wren?
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 2, title slip, in top left corner of covers
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        百千鳥狂歌合 後篇
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Momo chidori kyoka-awase, ko-hen
      • Inscription Translation

        Myriad Birds: A Kyoka Competition, Vol. 2
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 1 preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        上毛 赤松金鶏
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Jomo Akamatsu Kinkei
      • Inscription Translation

        Akamatsu Kinkei of Kozuke Province
      • Inscription Type

        signature
      • Inscription Position

        vol. 2 preface
      • Inscription Language

        Japanese
      • Inscription Content

        烏水隠士 赤松金鶏 
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Usui inshi Akamatsu Kinkei
      • Inscription Translation

        Akamatsu Kinkei, Retired Samurai of the Quick Bath
  • Curator's comments

    Following on from Utamaro's meticulous observations of insects (1788, case 10) and shells (1789, left), these two volumes contain fifteen pages of birds to illustrate a competition between 'crazy verse' (kyoka) poets. (Label copy, TTC, 1999.)Asano and Clark 1995

    Compiled by Akamatsu (Kikira) Kinkei. As ‘Ehon mushi erabi’ (cat. no. 463) is with insects, this is a poetry contest on the theme of birds. Each double-page illustration contains two ‘kyoka’ and there are fifteen illustrations, making a total of thirty ‘kyoka’. As with ‘Mushi erabi’, these are all playful love poems. No copies are known with a date of publication. As indicated by the advertisement in the colophon to ‘Ehon mushi erabi’, in about 1787 the publication of a series of illustrated ‘kyoka’ anthologies was envisaged, to be produced by Yadoya no Meshimori and Utamaro on the theme of birds (cho), animals (ju) and fish (gyo). For whatever reason, this project did not proceed as planned and ended with just the work on birds being published in the present form, compiled by Kinkei. The two volumes each have a different preface by Kinkei, but have the same colophon. This lack of uniformity suggests a complex history to the publication of the book. On the final double page there are advertisements for the following works: the present ‘Momo chidori kyoka-awase, Ebisu-buri tansei cho, Ehon fukuju-so’, and ‘Fugen-zo’. ‘Fugen-zo’ is an illustrated ‘kyoka’ anthology with a preface dated third month, 1790 (cat. no. 474): ‘Ehon fukuju-so’ is an illustrated book by Kitao Shigemasa published in spring, 1791. Combining this information with other evidence provided by book advertisements at the back of ‘Yoshiwara saiken’ guides, we can suggest that ‘Momo chidori’ was published some time during 1790, or in the spring of 1791 at the latest. (See also the commentary in ‘Hizo ukiyo-e taikan’. vol. 3, 1988, nos. 265-274.)

    As in the case of ‘Shiohi no tsuto’ and other similar albums, the order of the illustrations of birds and flowers differs from copy to copy. Also there is a variant edition with title slips having just the printed titles ‘Momo chidori, zempen’, and ‘Momo chidori, kohen’ (cat. no. 476).

    Literature:
    Otaka, Sennosuke 尾高鮮之助, "Utamaro no kibyoshi ko, 1-3"『歌麿の黄表紙考(一)~(三)』,‘Mizue’「みづゑ」, 275-277, 1928, 51-55.
    Ryerson 1931:223.
    ‘Kokusho somokuroku’「国書総目録」, vol. 7, Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 1963-72, pl. 720.
    Meech-Pakarik & Kenney 1981.
    Yoshida, Susugu 吉田漱, et al. ‘Ukiyo-e hakka vol. 3: Utamaro.’「浮世絵八華 歌麿」, Tokyo, Heibonsha, 1984.
    Hillier, Jack, ‘The Art of the Japanese Book’, Sotheby’s Publication, London, 1987, 422-3.
    Smith, Lawrence, ‘Ukiyoe: Images of Unknown Japan’, BMP, London, 1988, book no. 24.
    ‘Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan’「秘蔵浮世絵大観」, gen. ed. Narazaki, Muneshige, vol. 3, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1987-90, 265-274.
    ‘Edo Meibutsu Gacho Zenshu’「江戸名物画帖全集」, vol. 9, 102-105, 131-133, 181-182.

    Other copies:
    The Art Institute of Chicago.
    Chiba City Museum of Art 千葉市美術館.
    The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge [cat. no. 476].
    Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge (Mass.).
    The Japan ‘Ukiyoe’ Museum 日本浮世絵博物館, Matsumoto.
    Kochi Pref. Library 高知県立図書館.
    Nagoya Hoso 名古屋放送.
    Nishio Municipal Library 西尾市立図書館.
    The New York Public Library.
    Robert Ravicz Collection.
    Werner Schindler Collection.
    Toyo Bunko 東洋文庫, Tokyo.
    Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Vol. 2 only).

    [Main text translated in Japanese below / 以下上記本文日本語訳]

    浅野/クラーク 1995

    赤松金鶏(奇々羅金鶏)の撰。『画本虫撰』に倣い、鳥を詠題にした狂歌合で、1図に2首、15図で全30首を載せる。『虫撰』同様、すべて恋の戯れ歌となっている。

    刊年の記載された伝品は報告されていない。『画本虫撰』の刊記部分の広告にもあるとおり、鳥・獣・魚を主題にした絵入狂歌本は、飯盛・歌麿のコンビで天明7年(1787)頃から企画されていたらしい。それが何らかの事情でうまくいかず、結局鳥の部に当たるものが、金鶏撰の本書の形で刊行されたものと推察される。前篇後篇のそれぞれに金鶏の別の序が付いたり、同一の刊記が両篇に付いたりで、造本も何やら統一性を欠くのも複雑な出版経緯を想像させる。

    最終丁に、この「百千鳥狂歌合」と「夷曲丹青帖」「絵本福寿艸」「普賢像」の広告が載っている。『普賢像』は寛政2年3月の序を持つ絵入狂歌本(第474図)、『絵本福寿草』は寛政3年春刊、北尾重政画の絵本である。吉原細見の巻末広告等を考え合わせると、本書は寛政2年中に(遅くとも同3年春)刊行されたものと思われる。このことについては大観3の解説を参照されたい。『潮干のつと』などと同様、諸本によって花鳥図の順序が異なる。また、本書の別本には題簽が「百千鳥 前編」「百千鳥 後編」となっているものもある(第476図)。Smith 1988

    This is arguably the most stylish of all Utamaro's books, and the one in which he vindicated his implied claims to be superior to the contemporary artists of the official Kano School, both in delicacy of execution and originality of design. Like all the great albums published by Tsutaya, this is a 'kyoka' (comic verse) book, but the power of the illustrations and printing far outweigh the literary content.

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  • Bibliography

    • Hizo Ukiyo-e taikan Vol 3 265-274 bibliographic details
    • Asano & Clark 1995 475 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1988 Books:24 bibliographic details
    • Hillier 1987 Pl. 64, fig. 280 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1894

  • Acquisition notes

    Transferred from Department of Oriental Manuscripts (August 1915).

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1915,0823,0.67.1-2

  • Additional IDs

    • 16113.d.12
    • 1894,0214
    • JIB.141
    • OR.59.B.3

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