Waka Poetry Created at Nijo Castle in 1626

Manuscript on finest gampi paper, entitled on manuscript label on upper cover “Nijo dai gyoko waka” [“Waka Poetry Created at Nijo Castle for the Imperial Visit”].

19 leaves. Small 4to (237 x 175 mm.), orig. golden silk brocade over boards, bound tetsuyoso-style in two quires, each page beautifully painted with different watery landscape scenes adorned with flowers, grasses, & bushes, clouds & sprays of mist, using kindei (“golden mud”) & golden speckles, & finely textured gold-speckled paste-down endpapers at front & back. [Japan]: ca. 1684-89?

A very beautifully executed manuscript of this famous collection of waka poetry, calligraphically written by Koresue Imadegawa (1660-1709), court nobleman and major counselor (Dainagon, 1684-89), renowned as a master of calligraphy and for his skill in playing the biwa (Japanese lute). This manuscript is written on the finest torinoko (a smooth, faintly yellow-brown paper), made from highest-quality gampi, closely textured, heavy, and strong. This is a manuscript of considerable artistry.

The poems in this volume were created at the time of the famous imperial visit in September 1626 to the newly renovated Nijo Castle in Kyoto. Emperor Gomizunoo, at the invitation of the retired second shogun, Hidetada, and his son Iemitsu, the third shogun, left his own imperial palace and travelled a few blocks away to Nijo Castle, the Kyoto residence of the shogun. The visit had profound symbolism by demonstrating the political authority of the shogun over the emperor, which was maintained for the next 250 years.

During the five-day visit, there were performances of Noh theater, waka composition gatherings, traditional musical performances, and demonstrations of horseback riding and kemari (a ball game). The ca. 70 poems created at the waka gatherings, presented here in our manuscript, include those by the Emperor, Hidetada, Iemitsu, aristocrats, and high priests. In later years, these poems were held in high regard and were often used by calligraphers to demonstrate their artistry.

In very fine and fresh condition. Our manuscript is preserved in the original wooden box with the following manuscript inscription on the lid: “Nijo dai gyoko waka. Kikutei Dainagon Koresue Kyo hitsu. Issatsu” [“Waka Poetry Created at Nijo Castle for the Imperial Visit. Calligraphed by Major Counselor Lord Koresue. One volume”]. The original box has the two original green cords attached to decorative metal pieces affixed to each side of the lower part of the box.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 7586

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