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National Treasure Gallery: Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vols. 1; 2 (Furukawa version)

"National Treasure Gallery: Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vols. 1; 2 (Furukawa version)"

Honkan Room 2  May 10, 2016 (Tue) - June 12, 2016 (Sun)

  
Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vol. 1 (Furukawa version) (detail), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)

One of the five major transcriptions of the Man’yo shu poetry anthology from the Heian period, this work is known as the Genryaku Version, from its colophon in Volume 20 stating that the collation was completed on the ninth day of the sixth month of the first year of Genryaku (1184). The Tokyo National Museum collection includes six volumes formerly preserved by the Takamatsunomiya imperial branch family, and 14 volumes previously kept by the Furukawa family.
This exhibit features Volumes 1 and 2 from the former Furukawa family collection, which are butterfly-bound (decchoso) booklets using decorated paper with flying-cloud designs. An accompanying paper records that Emperor Reigen (1654–1732) viewed the volumes when they were in the possession of the Nakagawa family of Matsusaka in Ise province. After being owned subsequently by the Matsudaira family of Kuwana domain, and then the Mizuno family, the entrepreneur Furukawa Toranosuke purchased the work in 1911. The title labels on the covers were written by Sanjonishi Sanetaka (1455–1437), a prominent calligrapher from the Muromachi period.
In its entirety, the Genryaku Version is thought to consist of writings by approximately 15 individuals. Notably, the handwriting of Volume 1 is identical to the finest works of classical kana calligraphy such as the so-called Koyagire segment (Type 3) of the Kokin waka shu poetry anthology, as well as the Wakan roei shu poetry anthology, Decchoso Version (Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan). It is a prime example of the most outstanding Japanese kana calligraphy, in captivating harmony with Chinese kanji characters. On the other hand, Volume 2 is ascribed to a calligrapher who closely studied the style of Volume 1. We hope viewers enjoy these exquisite examples of decorative calligraphy books.

On Exhibit:
Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vol. 1 (Furukawa version), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)     
Man'yo shu Poetry Anthology, Genryaku Version, Vol. 2 (Furukawa version), Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)