Manuscript on finest torinoko paper of the author’s “Shugyokushu” [“The Collection of Gathered Jewels”], written throughout in one fine hand. JIEN.

“Gotoba Thought Him Equal to Any Poet Alive”

Manuscript on finest torinoko paper of the author’s “Shugyokushu” [“The Collection of Gathered Jewels”], written throughout in one fine hand.

1 blank leaf, [44] text leaves, 3 blank leaves; 1 blank leaf, [46] text leaves, 2 blank leaves; 1 blank leaf, [43] leaves, [1] p. of text, [3] blank pp.; 1 blank leaf, [69] leaves, [1] p. of text, [3] blank pp.; 1 blank leaf, [77] text leaves, 2 blank leaves; 1 blank leaf, [52] text leaves, one blank leaf; 1 blank leaf, [52] text leaves, 3 blank leaves. Seven vols. 4to (233 x 168 mm.), orig. semi-stiff dark indigo-dyed wrappers (a few minor defects), bound Tetsuyoso-style, each cover beautifully painted with different scenes of watery landscapes adorned with flowers, grasses, bushes, & trees, using kindei (“golden mud”), & golden speckles, clouds, & sprays of mist, finely textured gold endpapers in each vol., gold paper labels on upper cover of each vol. with manuscript titles. [Japan]: final page of final volume: “1594.”

A very beautifully executed manuscript of the poems of Jien (1155-1225); our seven volumes are written throughout in one skilled hand on the finest torinoko (a smooth, faintly yellow-brown paper), made from highest quality gampi, closely textured, heavy, and strong. The wrappers are dyed in dark indigo, and the front and back of each is painted in gold with the most beautiful landscapes. This is a manuscript of considerable artistry.

Jien (1155-1225), was an “early Kamakura waka poet, ecclesiastical figure, historian. A son of a noble family of very high rank, he was studious and earnest from his youth. By thirty-seven, partly by reason of his family connections, partly for his attainments, he was head priest of Tendai Buddhism and later became archbishop (daisojo). His literary interests led him to join the innovating poets surrounding the venerable Fujiwara Shunzei…He composed a substantial number of poems. His personal collection, the Shugyokushu (The Collection of Gathered Jewels, 1236 and later versions) is an ample collection, and after Saigyo he has the most poems in the Shinkokinshu (92)…

“Gotoba thought him equal to any poet alive. That judgement has not stood the text of time. But he was a fine, representative poet, and at times he rises high…His name lives on for his religious service, and for some few excellent poems.”–Miner et al., The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature, p. 171.

These manuscript volumes are housed in a superb lacquer box adorned with maki-e motifs on top and sides and using a background of nashiji, with the title “Shugyokushu.” The metalwork on each side holding the cord in place has a three-leaf device.

In very fine condition. Vol. 5 has some minor worming, and several leaves are somewhat wrinkled. One leaf has a 60 mm. clean tear touching text in Vol. 6.

Price: $19,500.00

Item ID: 7360

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