Letters, by Oda Nobunaga

  • Azuch-Momoyama period
  • 16c
  • 2 Hanging scrolls, ink on paper
  • H-26.5 W-53
Catalogue Entry

The inscription on this drum body indicates that this drum was presented to the Chikubushima Shrine on the 21st day of the 6th month of 1430 (Eikyo 2) by Isshiki Sakyo-no-daibu Mochinobu, a close associate of Yoshinori, the 6th Muromachi shogun. This drum cylinder is also accom-panied by two letters written by Oda Nobunaga.

In the letter written by Nobunaga to Isono Kazumasa, Nobunaga states that he has seen the famous "green leaf " flute of Chikubushima. He asks for a thorough study of the circumstances of the donation of this flute and its accompanying smaller flute to Chikubushima.

In the other one, addressed to Yamanaka, who was the So of Chikubushima, and sealed with Nobunaga's red ink seal, Nobunaga states that the "green leaf" flute has arrived. Nobunaga comments on what a truly fine treasure it is. He states that he will keep it close at hand for awhile and then return it to Chikubushima. Then he asks for details on the donor of the flute to Chikubushima and the circumstances of its donation. Nobunaga mentions that he has heard of the small drum cylinder owned by Shizuka and decorated with a thunder motif makie. He states that he would definitely like to see this drum. Nobunaga ends the letter by stating that he would seek Isono's permission and thus hoped that Chikubushima would approve the viewing.

These letters explain the relationship between Nobunaga and this drum and further heighten the historical importance of the work.