Bitter Melon, 1825

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Bearing a distinctive warty fruit in October, bitter melon is traditionally associated with autumn in Japanese poetry. When fully ripe, the fruit cracks and reveals pink flesh, as depicted here. Even though the fruit is edible, bitter melon was enjoyed mostly for its ornamental yellow flowers during the Edo period (1615-1868). The poetry society Sakuramonren commissioned this print to publish its members' haiku poems, and twenty-three verses describing the beauty of autumn appear on the print. The artist Dodo Hirotoshi cleverly integrated text and image by having the melon's long vine surround the verses.

Bitter Melon
Artist Life
died 1856
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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