Mr. Kenneth Keith, Rochester Hills, MI, to 1999
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Mr. Kenneth Keith in 1999
- Previous Owner(s)
Mr. Kenneth Keith
For the Japanese nobility of the Heian period (794-1185), Nakoso Barrier marked one of the boundaries between the civilized world and the dangerous and less orderly regions beyond. In this painting, the great warrior Minamoto no Yoshi'ie (1041-1106), who was renowned for his martial skills, pauses at the barrier on his return toward Kyoto after successful battles to the north. There he wrote the poem that is inscribed above this painting:
Although I thought
the wind would blow
at Nakoso Barrier
how deeply the mountain cherry blossoms
cover the path
For Japanese people, cherry blossoms, which bloom briefly each spring, are associated with notions about the brevity of life. Cherry blossoms are thus appropriate motifs that often appear in poems by warriors.
- Published References
- Ann McClellan. The Cherry Blossom Festival. Boston. p. 10.
- Roger V. Des Forges John S. Major. The Asian World 600-1500. Medieval and Early Modern World New York. p. 77.
- Collection Area(s)
- Japanese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum