Skip to content

Collection

An image of Shôjô at sake jar (Poem and illustration) by Hinaya RYÛHO

Hinaya RYÛHO

(Japan 1594 – 1669)

Title
Shôjô at sake jar (Poem and illustration)
Other titles:
Poem and Illustration
Place of origin
Japan
Period
Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
Year
17th century
Media category
Calligraphy
Materials used
hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions

28.0 x 52.0 cm image; 109.0 x 53.7 x 59.4 cm scroll

Signature & date
Signed l.l., in Japanese [inscribed in ink] "Ryûho [artist's seal]". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Professor Toru Mori 1963
Accession number
EP1.1963
Location
Not on display
Further information

The poem reads: Inexhaustible is / The water of chrysanthemums / From the heavenly Chrysanthemum River.
It praises sake (Japanese rice wine) as a drink of immortality by likening it to the chrysanthemum dews, by drinking which Kikujidô [Chrysanthemum boy], a legendary figure, obtained eternal youth. Shôjô is also a mythical creature that loves sake and is synonymous with a heavy drinker. There is a nô play called Shôjô, in which the creature becomes drunk and begins to dance.

Legend has it that Kikujidô was a servant boy to the emperor Mu of the Zhou dynasty. He was sent in exile to Li County of Nanyang Prefecture [present day Henan Province] where he became immortal by drinking the water of the Chrysanthemum River. It was believed that the river water contained the dew from chrysanthemums growing along its upper stream and very sweet, and that one who drank it gained a long life.

Bibliography (1)

Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 19.

Exhibition history (1)

Art of the brush, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Sep 1995–12 Nov 1995