Friday, 10 February 2017

The Rooster and the Lovers

#shunshoo #yearoftherooster #lovers #isemonogatari #ukiyo-e

Ukiyo-e is NOT all Shunga or pictures of Kabuki scenes or landscapes.

A lot of works labelled "prints" were illustrations for books.

Anthologies of  Japanese and Chinese Classics were very popular.

This is an illustration for Ise Monogatari Section 14

The poem the kana at the top of the page is purportedly by a woman living in a remote region who has just had an brief affair with a visiting Kyoto courtier.

Male courtiers were suppose to leave their lovers before dawn and send a poem the next day.

The woman perhaps not fully aware of this custom wrote this:

See Below Picture and as you scroll down note the delightful detail of the rooster and hen perched on the wall!

Yo mo akeba / Kitsu ni hamenade / Kutakake  no / Madaki no nakite / Sena wo yaritsuru 

My rather rough translation
time just about dawn for fox trapping that rooster (i'll be) 
already/ too early  he's crowing back (of my lover) sending away 

Due to the date of the poem and the arcahic bungo there are 2 or 3 interpretations of the verse.
I have opted for hopefully the most simple?

I am aware McCullough has translated this but have not yet been able to read her version, 
undoubted better than mine.

Shunshoo's print is dated 1766.