Chunagon Yakamochi, Poet No. 6 - Lovely scene from the story that is the basis of the Tanabata Festival in Japan. On one evening each year, the constellations of the Weaver Maiden and the Herds Boy, meet briefly as they cross in the sky. The pair are separated lovers who only see each other once a year as they cross the heavens. Here Orihime, the weaver princess, smiles shyly, holding her sleeve to her chin as she floats on a bank of clouds. The featured poet is Chunagon Yakamochi (Otomo no Yakamochi), an eighth-century statesman. The inset verse reads:
If I see that bridge
That is spanned by flights of magpies
Across the arc of heaven
Made white with a deep-laid frost,
Then the night is almost past.
According to legend, the pair were so in love that the beauty neglected her weaving and the herdsman allowed his cows to stray. Her father separated the pair on opposite sides of the Milky Way, allowing them to meet only once a year. When the first meeting approached, Orihime had no way to reach her lover as there was no bridge across the Milky Way. She enlisted the help of the magpies, who formed a bridge so that she could be reunited with her sweetheart.
Artist - Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861)
Image Size - 14 1/8" x 5 7/8"
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Image trimmed at left. A few tiny losses at edges, hole, repaired. Toning, slight soiling, a few creases at edges and spots. Please see photos for details.
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