Calligraphy of a Poem by Ono no Komachi

Ike Taiga, Japanese, 1723 - 1776

Made in Japan, Asia

Edo Period (1615-1868)

c. 1770

Ink on paper; mounted as a hanging scroll

55 3/4 × 22 3/4 inches (141.6 × 57.8 cm) Mount: 65 5/8 × 29 9/16 inches (166.7 × 75.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Henry B. Keep Fund and the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, 1991

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This is a rare example of Taiga's large-scale calligraphy in the Japanese hiragana syllabary. The four Chinese characters at the beginning are the name of the ninth-century poetess Ono no Komachi, and the rest is the hiragana syllabic text of one of her verses. This verse is one of her best known:

Was it that I fell asleep
Longing for him
That he appeared?
Had I known it was a dream
I should not have awakened.