Sugawara Michizane (845-903) was a statesman as well as a scholar in the early Heian period. He was relegated from the capital city, Kyoto, to Dazaifu (Fukuoka Prefecture) and died there. After his death, he was deified as the god of scholarship “Tenjin” and given the title shown in the image. The last letter of the title connects to the branch of plum tree. This comes from Michizane’s poetry of parting from the beloved plum tree in his garden in Kyoto.
The work bears signature and seal of Kano Tanyu (1602-74) who was the official painter of the Edo shogunate.