Picture of bamboo / Pentametrical quatrain on bamboo

Nukina KaiokuDated 1845

Sakai City Museum
Sakai-shi, Osaka, Japan

Orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, and plum have been praised for their noble beauty since ancient times, being awarded the epithet the Four Nobles and favored in poems and arts. This pair of hanging scrolls has bamboos as the theme of the picture and the poem.
The picture scroll with the title “At yhe bank of the Wei River” was painted when Kaioku was 68 years old. The bank of the River Wei is known as where Tai Kung Wang, a legendary fisherman-politician, would fish in seclusion. The pentametrical quatrain about bamboo depicts the winter landscape with sparrows playing among the snow-bent bamboo trees, which is written in a vigorous style.


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