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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Japanese
Period: Edo period
Title: Enjoying an Autumn Evening
Date: ca. 1868
Medium: Tanzaku poetry sheet: ink on gold-flecked paper
Dimensions: 14 3/16 x 2 3/8 inches (36 x 6 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the generosity of Ellen Avril, in honor of Stephen Addiss
Object Number: 2007.016
Label Text: Enjoying an Autumn Evening

In the fields, in the mountains
I was enthralled, so enthralled;
On the way back home,
The autumn moon accompanied me
Right to my room.

Personal loss marked the early life of Otagaki Rengetsu, who was widowed twice by the age of thirty-three and did not see any of her children survive to adulthood. She became a Buddhist nun and took the name Rengetsu, meaning “Lotus Moon.” Rengetsu achieved fame as a master of waka poetry and calligraphy, and supported herself through her art, which also included pottery and painting. Anthologies of her poetry were published during her lifetime and she became so sought after that she moved many times to escape incessant demand for her time and work. (“Moon," curated by Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum August 25, 2018-January 13, 2019)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.