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Series: Five Immortal Poets
The title of this print Hiōgi is the name of a Japanese cypress folding fan, which is at the feet of the Lady.
Fine impression, with extensive metallic printing; fine colour and condition.
The Five Immortal Poets were five of the seven maids of honour to the Empress Jōtō Mon’in (988-1074), namely Murasaki Shikibu, Izumi Shikibu, Akazome Emon, Uma no Naishi and Ise no Taifu. Hokusai has drawn each of them in an elaborate court gown.
Here are the poems:
I counted the days on the turning wheels of the book cart, tired of waiting for the voice of the spring warbler Sembatei Teodori
The joy of opening the letter box with the plum branch, of untying the cord, spreading everything out and flattening the creases Ashinoya Yūzuru
On the eastern window of the dwelling where we awaited Spring, the crane spreads its wings and casts a shadow Shun’itei Sodenari
Another impression of this surimono is preserved in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin; see Roger Keyes The Art of Surimono: Privately published Japanese woodblock prints and books in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin; London, 1985, vol. I, page 230.
Another one is preserved at the Library of Congress, Washington (item 2009615077).