[Emaki Painted Handscroll 絵巻 of Makura Zōshi 枕草子 by Sei Shonagon 清少納言] Izeri Sosui, artist
c. Early 20th C
[Emaki Painted Handscroll 絵巻 of Makura Zōshi 枕草子 by Sei Shonagon 清少納言 ]
Very long (approximately 33 feet long and 10 3/4 inches tall) black and white painted and calligraphed illustrated version of this classic Heian era literary work, the Pillow Book. The original work was finished about 1002 after the author had spent years as a lady-in-waiting at the court. The images in this scroll are said to have been first created by an anonymous female artist to go along with the calligraphy of a Buddhist monk named Gokōken-in in the 13th century. The original still exists as an Important Cultural Treasure in Japan. The scroll has been closely copied many times throughout history. I recently saw a version done in the late 16th century. Ours is a magnificent effort created in the 20th century by Izeri Sosui, born in Kumamoto in 1882. Sosui was known for his efforts in the Yamato-e 大和絵 genre, so this recreation of the classic scroll is a product of long study of the techniques employed. There is a bit of abrasion to the brocade wraparound, else in lovely condition in a wooden box.