An image of Calligraphy: (poem)

Ôtagaki RENGETSU

(Japan 1791 – 1875)

Calligraphy: (poem)

Location
Not on display
Further information

From an early age Rengetsu showed talents for poetry and swordsmanship. She married young, but as her husband died in 1823, and her four children also died at young ages, she entered the Buddhist priesthood and adopted the name Rengetsu, meaning Lotus Moon. She dedicated the rest of her life to writing poetry and making pottery, known as Rengetsu ware. This poem reads:

'The evening is fragrant with plum blossoms
Oh, this fragrance!
It penetrates the black sleeves of my nun's habit
Even though I have renounced the world,
I enjoy dressing myself in this aromatic midnight scent.'

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 282.

Place of origin
Japan
Period
Japan: Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615–1868
Japan: Meiji period 1868–1912
Year
19th century
Media
Calligraphy
Medium
hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions
29.4 x 41.0 cm image; 114.8 x 50.0 x 56.5 cm scroll
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased 1994
Accession number
19.1994