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Happy Holidays!

Suzuki Harunobu (ca. 1724-70), Young Beauty Carrying A Child Pulling a Flower Cart, ca. 1770,
chuban tate-e, 10 3/8 x 7 5/8 in.

Wishing the happiest of holidays to all from Asia Week New York!

This cheerful Japanese woodblock print from Scholten Japanese Art echoes the Christmas season with the tenderness of a mother-and-child and the merriment of colorful holiday gifts and décor. The small child focuses intently on the small flower cart containing a basketwork vase with an arrangement of autumnal leaves and grasses, including chrysanthemums and kikyo (bell flowers) that he pulls along with a long cord. Repeated images of clumps of snow-covered bamboo on the woman’s robes also evoke the season.

The poem at the top is by Fujiwara no Michitoshi (1047-1099) from the anthology Kin'yo wakashu (Collection of Golden Leaves).

Sakari naru
magaki no kiku
kesa mire ba
mata sora saenu
yuki zo tsumoreru

I get up early
this morning to find flowers
the chrysanthemums
flowering upon my hedge
as if the snow covered it.

-Poem reading courtesy of Ryoko Matsuba, translation by Matsuo Shukuya

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