Masterpieces of KNM

Kokin Wakashu Anthology(Surviving Portion of Vol. XII)

Kokin Wakashu

This scroll has no written title, but it contains forty-nine waka poems from the twelfth volume ("Poems of Love, II" ) of the early-Heian, official poetry anthology, the Kokin Wakashu. The poems are written on imported Chinese paper with mica-imprinted bamboo and peach blossom designs. The characters, spacing and continuous script are remarkable. The highly individual style of the calligraphy, traditionally attributed to Ono-no-Michikaze, coupled with the decorative beauty of the paper has led to this scroll being called "the finest of the meibutsu-gire (famous calligraphic works)."

This work is said to have been part of the collection of Hon'ami Koetsu, the well-known Momoyama connoisseur-designer, and it is thus known as the "Hon'ami gire."

Handscroll
Ink on decorated paper
16.7 X 244 cm
Late-Heian Period (11th Century)
National Treasure
BK 548

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