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Online Prints Catalogue
  • Prints

Kyoka poem


Item code : DUh108

Artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Subject Beauty & Female
Series 100 Aspects of the Moon
Publisher Akiyama Buemon
Format Oban (Vertical)
Size 23.9 x 35.4 cm
Date Meiji (1868 - 1912)


The bottom of the bucket 
Which Lady Chiyo filled has fallen out 
The moon has no home in the water

The poem above is an example of kyoka, "crazy poems," that usually accompanied the illustrations in surimono, prints similar to ukiyo-e but given as a private gift instead of being widely distributed. the anonymous poet was very much influenced by a haiku about a water-bucket by the famous female poet Chiyo of Kaga province. 

She composed this haiku when she discovered that the vines of a morning-glory had wrapped around the rope of the well in the evening, prohibiting her from drawing water in the morning: morning-glories have taken my bucket so I ask for water. 

The poet in Yoshitoshi's time expands Chiyo's work by incorporating the image of the moon; the reflection of the moon would be lost if the water in the bucket is spilled, as seen in the picture. The combination of persimmon fruit, susuki grass, and the chrysanthemum print on Chiyo's early eighteenth century style kimono suggests that is is mid-September. Chiyo later became a nun in 1754 to escape the restrictions imposed on Edo women. She continued to flourish in her writing, concentrating on the beauty of her surroundings and the feelings of women. 


Condition : Excellent       Impression : Excellent
backed, the left margin added and no publisher's seal