Daikokuten, by Ogata Korin

  • Edo period
  • 18c
  • Hanging scroll, ink on paper
  • H-52.9 W-28.3
    Formerly in the collection of Ueno Riichi (Uchiku-sai)
Catalogue Entry

by Ogata Korin
Edo period, 18th century (dated 1705)
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
Height, 52.9cm; width, 28.3cm

With bamboo staff in his right hand and a small mallet in his left hand, the folk deity Daikoku carries a large bag and a bale of rice on his back.

Korin is especially famous for such well-known works as his Irises screens, his Red and White Plum Tree screens, and his Taikobo (Taikungwang) screens, and it is these full-color works that readily come to mind when one considers Korin. There are also, however, a large number of superb works in ink remaining by Korin. These ink works reveal Korin's more relaxed attitude, and some believe that Korin's true pinnacle lies in these ink paintings. Careful consideration shows that this can also be said about Korin's teacher Tawaraya Sotatsu.

Korin used specific ink techniques in this work, such as the light shading of ink laid down on the inside of ink lines and the light wash of ink brushed across the lines used to depict Daikoku's beard. At first, these may appear to be roughly painted when, in fact, they are quite carefully applied. This careful method would also be continued by such later artists as Nagasawa Rosetsu. HK