6 panels, each with four columns of loopy calligraphy

Chang'an [right of a pair], 1818

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This pair of screens features the calligraphy of Kameda Bōsai, a Confucian scholar celebrated for his dynamic, vibrant handwriting. (Confucianism is an ancient philosophy and code of ethics that underpins the culture of China and its neighbors.) As a scholar, Bōsai was familiar with classical Chinese literature and culture and was a skilled calligrapher, painter, and poet in his own right. In this pair of screens he used the expressive “running” style of calligraphy, in which characters are abbreviated and multiple characters occasionally run together. The text is a transcription of a Chinese ballad (qilu) called “Chang’an, Ancient Theme” (“Chang’an guyi”) by Lu Zhaolin (c. 634–684). The city of Chang’an, today known as Xi’an, was significant to the Japanese—two of Japan’s early imperial capitals, Heijō and Heian (now the cities of Nara and Kyoto, respectively), were designed after this ancient Chinese capital city.

Chang'an [right of a pair]
Artist Life
1752 - 1826
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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6 panels, each with four columns of loopy calligraphy