okugaki 奥書
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also okuzuke 奥付, atogaki 後書, batsu 跋 (Ch: ba), or batsubun 跋文 (Ch: bawen ; see *daibatsu 題跋). A general term for the colophon or postscript added at the end of books *sasshibon 冊子本 or scrolls *kansubon 巻子本 of painting or calligraphy, which provides information regarding the creation of the work. Okugaki are written by the artist or calligrapher, or by the patron or in many cases by a later person who viewed the work sometimes many generations after its production. Okugaki often mention the name of the artist or calligrapher, date, origin or derivation of the work, and sometimes include an evaluation, an authentication, or the name of the owner (identification of collection). Connoisseurship developed vigorously in the Edo period and particularly under the impetus of hereditary schools of tea sadou 茶道, taste and styles of art and decoration were codified and ranked in approval. Artists, particularly in the Kanou school *Kanouha 狩野派 ( see *goyou-eshi 御用絵師), were widely engaged in the authentication of art works through the writing of okugaki or *kiwamegaki 極書, both as a service to their warrior patrons and as a way of preserving and transmitting the "authentic" styles of their teachers. Information provided by okugaki, while sometimes not factually correct in the light of modern scholarship, remains indispensable to art historical research.
In printed books, the postscript, usually identifying the date, author or calligrapher, and publisher, is called kanki 刊記. In the performing arts, such as *nou 能, okugaki refer to writing which verifies the transmission of secret knowledge and techniques from master to student.


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