Fragment of the Genryaku Kohon Version of the Man'yoshu

  • Late Heian period
  • 11c
  • Hanging scroll, ink on decorated paper
  • H-57.3 W-31.5
Catalogue Entry

Late Heian period, 11th century
Hanging scroll, ink on decorated paper
Height, 57.3cm; width, 31.5cm

This corrected version of the Man'yoshu poetry anthology is known as the Genryaku Kohon version because its compiler, the poet Fujiwara-no-Akiie (1153-1215), noted in his colophon on the 20th scroll of the work that he had finished his proofreading of this version against other versions in the 6th month of 1184 (Genryaku 1). This version is one of Five Great Man'yoshu versions along with the Katsura, Aigami, Kana-zawa, and Tenji versions.

The paper used in the present version of the Man'yoshu is a torinoko paper watermarked with an indigo and purple tobikumo pattern. A light ink border has been drawn around the text area, and 6 to 8 lines of text are copied onto each sheet. The texts were copied by more than ten different calligraphers. All of the texts are brushed in elegant, elongated forms, and as one of the calligraphers is the same as that seen on the Iyogire (first type), it is suggested that this transcription of the poetry anthology dates back to the latter half of the 11th century. MS