Tatsutagawa 竜田川
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also written 龍田川 or 立田川. The lower reaches of a tributary of the Yamato 大和 River in Nara. Long famous for its maple leaves, it was a popular topic in poetry, *yamato-e やまと絵 paintings of the four seasons *shiki-e 四季絵, and paintings of famous places *meisho-e 名所絵. Most famous in *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 through its inclusion in the One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each *Hyakunin isshu 百人一首 collection with a poem by Ariwara no Narihira 在原業平 (825-80). This poem, found in the KOKINSHUU 古今集 is in turn one of the earliest screen-poems, byoubu-uta 屏風歌 (see *byoubu-e 屏風絵) extant. Depictions show Narihira beside a river filled with autumn leaves, or in front of a screen portraying the river. Famous examples include a *fusuma-e 襖絵 by Tosa Mitsuoki 土佐光起 (1617-91) at Kanjuji 勧修寺 in Kyoto. Decorative designs treating maple leaves in a flowing river, such as Ogata Kourin's 尾形光琳 (1658-1716) fan painting, are also called Tatsutagawa.


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