Azumakudari 東下り
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. going down to the East. In the pre-Edo periods, traveling from the capital city of Kyoto towards the Eastern provinces along the Eastern Sea Road, Toukaidou 東海道. More specifically, however, it refers to a journey of Ariwara no Narihira 在原業平 (825-80), "Narihira's Journey to the East" as described in Episode 9 of ISE MONOGATARI 伊勢物語 (The Tales of Ise). While this chapter includes several episodes, including *Yatsuhashi 八橋, *Tsuta-no-hosomichi 蔦の細道, Mt. Fuji 富士, and the Sumida River *Sumidagawa 隅田川, generally only the third of these---seeing Mt. Fuji from the road to Suruga 駿河 province---is referred to by the term, Azumakudari. The text reads: "At Mount Fuji a pure white snow had fallen, even though it was the end of the Fifth Month. (Narihira composed a poem) Toki shiranu / yama wa Fuji no ne itsutoteka / kanoko madarani / yuki no fururan 時知らぬ 山は富士の嶺 いつとてか かのこまだらに 雪の降るらん ( Fuji is a mountain / That knows no seasons / What time does it take this for / That it should be dappled / With fallen snow? ; trans. McCullough) The standard iconography, which can be traced back to the early 14c, shows Narihira on horse-back with his attendants and companions, as Mt. Fuji towers in the background. A well-known example of this theme is a hanging scroll painting by Ogata Kourin 尾形光琳 (1658-1716) in the Gotou 五島 Museum, Tokyo.

*ise monogatari-e 伊勢物語絵 

(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.