Enkei houtai えん渓訪戴
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Ch: Yanxi fangdai. Also known as Ou Shiyuu houtai 王子猷訪戴 and Setsuya houtai 雪夜訪戴. Lit. A snowy night's visit to Dai Kui.
A story about calligrapher Wang Ziyou (Jp: Ou Shiyuu 王子猷; ?-ca. 388), also known as Wang Huizhi (Jp: Ou Kishi 王徽之), fifth son of famous calligrapher Wang Xizhi (Jp: Ou Gishi 王羲之; 303-361), and his aborted visit to the villa of his friend, the literatary painter Dai Kui (Jp: Tai Ki 戴逵; ?-395?), better known as Dai Andao (Jp: Tai Andou 戴安道). According to the 5c compendium Shishuo Xinyu (Jp: SESETSU SHINGO 世説新語), on a snowy night Wang Ziyu was at home drinking and reciting poetry alone when he suddenly thought of Dai Andao and immediately set out by boat to visit his friend who lived in Yanxi (Jp: Enkei えん渓), upstream along the Caoe (Jp: Souga 曹娥) River in Zhejiang (Jp: Sekkou 浙江) province. However, when Wang finally reached the gate of Dai Andao's retreat, he instructed his boatman to row the boat home although he had not yet met his friend. Later when asked about this strange behavior, Wang Ziyou explained that originally he went to see his friend when he had the inclination, but when the desire suddenly left him there was no longer any reason to complete the visit. The story was popular in literary circles where Wang Ziyou's integrity was much admired. Notable Japanese paintings of the subject include works by Toushun 等春 (early 16c), Kanou Motonobu 狩野元信 (1476-1559; Myoushinji Reiun-in 妙心寺霊雲院, Kyoto), Yosa Buson 与謝蕉村 (1716-84), and Nakayama Kouyou 中山高陽 (1717-80).


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