Fragment of Poem Anthology, attributed to the Emperor Kameyama

  • Kamakura period
  • 13-14c
  • Hanging scroll, ink on decorated paper
  • H-25.7 W-37.5
    Transmitted by the Kishu Tokugawa clan
Catalogue Entry

This elegant decorated paper has been painted with gold and silver paint, and then scattered with metallic dust, small squares and cut pieces of foil. Five waka poems are written on the sheet, each brushed in three lines. The format of the paper suggests that it was originally bound as a kansubon scroll.

Traditionally this fragment was thought to be a Kongo'in gire fragment and was said to have been brushed by Emperor Kameyama, but the other fragment from the Kongo'in scroll consists of a wider piece of paper and the calligraphic hand is somewhat different. Further, the gold and silver decorated paper is a bit thicker and the brushwork looser.

The Bumpo Hyakushu was careaded as a reference source when Emperor Go-Udain was compiling his imperial poetry anthologies. Created in Bumpo 2 (1318), this reign date gave its name to the collection. The emperor asked the poets of the day to each submit 100 verses and the collection was created from that group. These five verses are from the 6th volume of the anthology and were written by Shokunmonin Haruhi (mother of Kimimune). The second verse, beginning with the phrase "wakite mata," was included in the multi‐thousand verse anthology.

The lines of poetry floating against their gold and silver clouds, combined with the elegant writing exude an elegantly graceful mood.