A girl as Ono no Tofu looking at the frog - ROM2015_14594_2


A girl as Ono no Tofu looking at the frog

Medium:2-colour block-prints on paper
Geography: Japan
Date: 1750s
Period: Edo period
Hosoe 26.8 x 14.1 cm
Object number: 926.18.20
Credit Line: Sir Edmund Walker Collection
Not on view
DescriptionOno no Tōfū (or Michikaze, 895–966) was one of the most famous calligraphers of the Heian period (794–1185), but in his youth despaired of ever mastering the art. One day, however, he watched a frog repeatedly trying to jump onto a low-hanging willow branch. When the frog finally succeeded, Tōfū realized the importance of unremitting practice. A puppet play by Takeda Izumo and others entitled Ono no Tōfū (Aoyagi Suzuri) (Ono no Tōfū and the Green Willow Inkstone) debuted in Osaka in 1754; the kabuki version opened in Kyoto in 1755, and in Edo in 1758. This is a typical mitate-e, with the famous male classical calligrapher being replaced by the figure of a girl wearing a courtier’s hat. References: Leiter 1997; Waterhouse 1975 (pl. 4) References: Leiter 1997; Waterhouse 1975 (pl. 4)
Browse Categories:Art & Music
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