Call No. [Page No.]: [p. 104]
Document Type: Painting
Category: Asia - Japan Collection
Chūzan Kaboku zu (Drawings of flowers and trees in Chūzan中山花木図), 1762. Color scroll on washi. 31.2cm x 986.5cm. Sakamaki/Hawley Collection. This vividly colorful hand-drawn scroll illustrates 16 flowers and trees in Ryūkyū (present day Okinawa) on Japanese washi paper, accompanied by Chinese poems dedicated to each plant. The two original paintings were created in 1714 by Kimura Tangen, a noted Kanō-sect painter employed by the Shimazu family. One painting was gifted to a court-noble, Konoe Iehiro (近衛家熈) in Kyoto, which has no poems and the other with poems to the Shimazu Clan in Satsuma (present Kagoshima). The Chinese poems were dedicated by Tei Junsoku, a Ryūkyūan scholar educated in China. The two originals were for a long time presumed to be lost. However, just recently the scroll originally given to Konoe Iehiro was discovered at a private library run by the Takeda Science Foundation in Osaka. It is speculated that the scroll of the UHM Sakamaki/Hawley Collection is a reproduction of the Shimazu Clan's original (still missing) and this Konoe's original. During the Edo period (1600-1868), the Tokugawa government allowed only Nagasaki to be open to the outside world. However, the Shimazu Clan who controlled the Kingdon of Ryūkyū kept its trading privileges. The Ryūkyūan scholars educated in China delivered many books and much knowledge to the upper Japanese ruling echelons. It is said that Konoe Iehiro, a scholar and artist himself, possessed keen interests in the arts and Chinese knowledge brought by Ryūkyūan scholars. This astounding scroll provides not only artistic and scholarly information but also allows one to learn about the close cultural ties between China, Ryūkyū, Satsuma Province (Shimazu Clan), and Kyoto. Miyazaki Inpo, who copied the scroll, was a well-known scholar and painter and he worked for Konoe Iehiro in Kyoto.
Treasure record edited on 2010-07-23 13:47:26