Art is a journey into the most unknown thing of all - oneself. Nobody knows his own frontiers… I don’t think I’d ever want to take a road if I knew where it led.

Louis Kahan

Original Harunobu (1724 - 1770) Japanese Woodblock Print
Parody of the Noh Play Hachi no Ki, circa 1765

Beautiful original Harunobu woodblock depicting a beauty about to cut down a bonsai tree. The scene is a parody of the kabuki play “Hachi no Ki,” which tells the story of a Buddhist monk arriving unexpectedly at the shabby home of Sano Genzaemon Tsuneyo in Yashu. The poor man and his wife treated the surprise visitor with as much honor as they could, even burning Tsuneyo’s three prized bonsai trees to cook a meal for him. The monk was actually the retired regent Hojo Tokiyori, who was disguised during an intelligence gathering mission. When Tokiyori issued a call to raise an army to protect the shogun, the impoverished Tsuneyo appeared with his rusty armor and sword, ready to serve. Tokiyori was so moved by his loyalty that he deeded three pieces of land to him, named Pine, Cherry, and Plum in honor of the bonsai trees he had sacrificed.(http://www.fujiarts.com/cgi-bin/item.pl?item=130843)



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