Illustration of the Emperor Kōkō's Poem, c. 1840-1842

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Kakinomoto Hitomaro was a great poet and, after his death around 739, he was deified as a Shinto god. In his poem, written here in the upper portion of the print, he emphasizes the loneliness of autumn:

Ah, the foot-drawn trail
of the mountain-pheasant's tail
dropped like a down-curved branch
Through this long, long-dragging night
must I keep my cushion alone'

Kuniyoshi strengthened the autumnal association within his composition by picturing autumn grasses, the full moon, and maple leaves as decoration on the small folding screen near Hitomaro.

Illustration of the Emperor Kōkō's Poem
Artist Life
1798 - 1861
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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