Record of the Poetry Contest at the Palace of the Empress in the Kampyo Era (detail), Attributed to Prince Munetaka, Heian period, 11th century (National Treasure)
Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 2
November 15, 2016 (Tue) - December 15, 2016 (Thu)
This handscroll records a poetry contest held by Empress Dowager Hanshi, who was the mother of Emperor Uda (867–931), during the Kampyo era (889–98) in the Heian period. Poetry contests were social events in which poets were divided into two teams, and one contestant from each team composed a poem on the same theme to be judged. Those who attended this particular poetry contest included renowned poets such as Ki no Tsurayuki, and their poems were documented in the Shinsen man’yo shu poetry anthology.
This work is part of the Jikkanbon utaawase poetry anthology, which was compiled by order of Imperial Regent Fujiwara no Yorimichi (992–1074). With a number of additions and corrections in red and black, it is considered a draft rather than the final copy. It is said to have been originally owned by the Konoe clan, one of the five clans with lineages of regents, but it is now divided up and preserved by several families including the Konoe and Maeda, who run cultural entities – the Yomei Bunko and Maeda Ikutokukai, respectively – that preserve and manage cultural properties.
The Jikkanbon utaawase poetry anthology consists of handwriting by ten or more individuals. It includes handwriting identical to that found in the Koyagire segment of calligraphy, which is considered the pinnacle of the Heian-period kana-character calligraphy, indicating these two works were probably created around the same period. With its sophisticated, refined handwriting in kana characters, calligraphy on this handscroll serves as a model even today. Visitors are invited to view this accomplished handwriting and the beauty emanating from its fluidity to their hearts’ content.
|Highlight||National Treasure||Record of the Poetry Contest at the Palace of the Empress in the Kampyo Era||Attributed to Prince Munetaka||Heian period, 11th century||B-20|