////Utagawa Sadahide. Five festivals, ninth month, full moon celebration / Fan print, 1835.

Utagawa Sadahide. Five festivals, ninth month, full moon celebration / Fan print, 1835.

Artist: Utagawa Sadahide [歌川貞秀] (Japanese, 1807 – 1879).

Publisher: Iseya Ichiemon [伊勢屋市右衛門] (Japanese, fl. c. 1820s – c. 1860s).

Size: Uncut fan print (uchiwa-e), 220 x 285 mm.

Date-kiwame seal: 1835 (Tenpō 6).

Signed: Sadahide ga in a double-gourd cartouche.

Man trying to catch a catfish with a gourd during a picnic on an autumn evening. Five Festivals [五節句の內] (Gosekku no uchi), Ninth Month [九月] (Kugatu), Full moon celebration on the 15th night of the month (Tsuki machi)  [月まち]  or [月待]. The autumnal spirit is also supported by the presence of Patrinia scabiosifolia (ominaeshi) [女郎花] and Miscanthus sinensis, or Japanese pampas grass (susuki) [薄]. These two are part of the Seven Grasses of Autumn (aki no nanakusa) [秋の七草].

Description by Richard Kruml: “Viewing the full moon in the eighth and ninth months was a popular activity passed down from the aristocracy in Heian times; especially where the moon’s reflection could be seen in the water. One such party is seen here where a member vainly attempts to catch a catfish with a gourd: A hopeless task with such an unsuitable utensil. This is based on a Zen riddle posed by the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimochi [足利 義持] (Japanese, 1386 – 1428) on how to catch a catfish with a gourd, which inspired the 15th-century artist Josetsu [如拙] (Japanese, fl. 1405 – 1496) to paint the subject with accompanying poems on the conundrum by Zen monks”.

SKU: SVJP-0346.2021 Categories: ,

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