National Treasure

One Page the Calligraphy Album ‘Tekagami Kanboku-jo’: a poem from the Chinese anthology ‘Baishi wenji’ by Bai Letian

By Fujiwara-no-Yukinari



Artist By Fujiwara-no-Yukinari
Period Heian period, early 11th century
Materials and techniques Ink on paper
Size 28.5×17.5


This fragment of "Baishi wenji" is said to be by the hand of Sugawara-no-Michizane (845-903), a scholar and politician of the Heian period. The poem entitled "Hyakurenkyo?" is a part of "Shingafu" (new ballad) in the fourth chapter. This page and the page after completes the poem, and it is believed that the work was divided into eight lines and five when it was compiled in the album. This is a different work from "Baishi wenji" by Fujiwara-no-Yukinari (Masaki Art Museum) and is copied in an impressive and elegant style on kozo paper. Shingafu begins with the poem "Rikyuko", and since the "Rikyuko" preserved by Yomei Bunko Foundation in Kyoto is written on the same kozo paper in the same calligraphic style, the two fragments are believed to have come from the same scroll. There are other works attributed to Michizane, such as "Shikigire" and "Sanukigire", but none has been identified as his authentic writing. Michizane's records as a calligrapher can be found in "Yakakuteikinsho" by Fujiwara Koreyuki and "Jubokusho" ("Treatise on Calligraphy") by Prince Son'en, and it is evident that he was highly admired from a long ago as one of the three greatest calligraphers along with Kukai and Ono-no-Michikaze. This fragment is believed to have been copied at the beginning of the 11th century.