Japanese Framed Tanzaku, Poem Card by Otagaki Rengetsu 19c

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Paintings: Pre 1900: Item # 1339294

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The size of Framed Tanzaku by Rengetsu.: Tanzaku size: 14 1/8” Long x 2 3/8” Wide. Frame size: 20 7/8” Long x 5” Wide. This is Tanzaku (Poem Card) done by Otagaki Rengetsu who was the greatest poets of 19th Century. The frame is made of Japanese Kuwa wood (mulberry). The poem writing as following, “ No ni yamani, ukare ukarete, kaerusawo neya-made okuru, aki-no yo no tsuki.” (In the fields, in the mountains, I was enthralled, so enthralled—On the way back home The autumn moon accompanied me to my bedroom. ) Tanzaku condition excellent as well as frame. It is made from late Bakumatsu to early Meiji, 1860-1870's. It is hand written by Rengetsu herself. There is Rengetsu signature at lower left corner. The framed Tanzaku with glass. Tanzaku has background design done by wood block print.

Ōtagaki Rengetsu ( 10 February 1791 – 10 December 1875) was a Buddhist nun who is widely regarded to have been one of the greatest Japanese poets of the 19th century. She was also a skilled potter and painter and expert calligrapher. She was the daughter of a courtesan and a nobleman. After she was born Nobu, as she was called, was adopted by the Otagaki family so that she would receive an upbringing as an aristocrat and not live in the courtesan district with her mother. She was married twice and had five children. She became a Buddhist nun at the age of thirty after burying both husbands, all of her children, her stepmother and stepbrother. Her adoptive father joined her. Being a woman, she was only allowed to live in a Buddhist monastery for a couple of years. After that she lived in tiny huts and moved around quite a lot. She was a master of martial arts having been trained since childhood by her adoptive family. The Otagaki family were well known as teachers of ninja. Born into a samurai family with the surname Tōdō, she was adopted at a young age by the Ōtagaki family. She was a lady in waiting at Kameoka Castle from age 7 to 16, when she was married. However, her husband died in 1823. Ōtagaki joined the temple Chion-in and became a nun, taking Rengetsu ("Lotus Moon") as her Buddhist name. She remained at Chion-in for nearly ten years, and lived in a number of other temples for the following three decades, until 1865, when she settled at the Jinkō-in where she lived out the rest of her life. Though best known as a waka poet, Rengetsu was also accomplished at dance, sewing, some of the martial arts, and Japanese tea ceremony. She admired and studied under a number of great poets including Ozawa Roan and Ueda Akinari, and later in her life became a close friend and mentor to the artist Tomioka Tessai. A number of Tessai's works, though painted by him, feature calligraphy by Rengetsu. (from Wikipedia)