Black Dog and Boat

Ike Taiga, Japanese, 1723 - 1776

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

18th century

Ink and color on paper; mounted as a hanging scroll

18 1/2 x 12 inches (47 x 30.5 cm) Mount: 45 x 19 3/4 inches (114.3 x 50.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Margaretta S. Hinchman Fund, the Gertrude Schemm Binder Fund, and the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, 1966

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This pair of haiku poems describes scenes that Taiga could have observed directly from nature. The first poem pictures a winter scene: a black dog appears even blacker as it passes a glittering white, snow-laden fence. The second poem is more abstract and describes a rainy spring day at the Fushimi harbor, a station along the busy river route that connected Kyoto with Osaka. The boat for hire, it seems, is so drenched by the rain that it becomes a rain boat:

The black dog becomes
     Even more black:
A snowy fence

At Spring; Leaving Fushimi

Leaving the spring behind
     Now, let's rent
A boat of rain!