The Foot of Mount Fuji

from the Righteous Samurai Collection, 1920

by Kawamura Manshū

IHL Cat. #2595


The fifth print appearing in Volume 3 of Gishi taikan, edited by Fukumoto Nichinan. 

Onodera Jūnai Hidekazu 小野寺十内秀和 (1643-1703), Asano Naganori's Akō House's guard-liaison and one of the Forty-Seven Righteous Samurai, is seen as he passes along the foot of Mount Fuji on his way to Edo. He often wrote to his wife Tan, his letters "sprinkled with tanka - especially the one describing his travels from Kyoto to Edo [to fulfill the vendetta against Kira] in Tenth Month 1702."[1] 

The 15th year of Genroku, as I leave the Capital to go down East:

Rising to part with you this morn to cross the Kamo River

the fog from its water stays around my heart

Having parted but uncertain we'll meet again;

this won't be compared with the pass for death

At the Shiga Shore:

In my hometown she must live like this:

lone and bleak the pine at Shiga Shore

As the sky above the Capital gradually grows distant:

Wildly guessing my hometown beyond Great Hiei,

draping the mountain, unknown white cloud

Because showers fall everyday:

Clouds of thoughts at the parting rise and follow:

today too showers in the sky over the Road to the East 

Among the poems I made at various places:

From time to time travelers return to the Capital;

I'm not among them, with my days ahead

The unforgettable face of my friend in the Capital

I try to see in the people I pass on the road

About the time the sun rises in the East, I pass the skirts of Fuji:

In the waves the face of the Izu sea lucid,

the white snow of Fuji casts its light

I arrive in Edo, and few remain of my old friends with whom I'd ceased to correspond:

The grasses I've borrowed for a pillow having withered out,

I lie sleepless in the frost of Musashi Plain [2]

[1] Forty-Seven Samurai A Tale of Vengeance & Death in Haiku and Letters, Hiroaki Sato, Stone Bridge Press, 2019, p. 77.

[2] ibid, p.  111.

Print Details

 click on image to enlarge

artist signature and seal 

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Tribute Preceding Print by

Kuniomi Yokota 

横田國臣(1850-1923), public procurator, justice minister and president of Supreme Court

from Volume 3 of Gishi Taikan

image source: The Early Japanese Book Portal Database, Art Research Center AkoRH-R0419-3

click on image to enlarge

Print Commentary from Volume 3 of Gishi Taikan


image source: The Early Japanese Book Portal

Database, Art Research Center AkoRH-R0419-3

Artist Profile

Kawamura Manshū, real name Kawamura Manzō 川村萬蔵 was born in Kyoto in 1880. Studied under Yamamoto Shunkyo 山元春挙 (1871-1933) beginning in 1898. In his early twenties he began to win recognition for his work with a prize at the Shinko bijutsuhin-ten (Exhibition of New and Old Works of Art).  He would go on to win prizes at multiple government sponsored exhibitions and would serve as a juror for the government sponsored Teiten and became a member of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in 1931. Beginning in 1906, when be became an assistant teacher at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, he would teach throughout his career, becoming the head of the School of Arts and Crafts in 1936.  After Shunkyo's death he would preside over his master's painting school, the Sanaekai 早苗会.

His style has been described as "romantic" with "a mixture of Japanese and Western feeling" typical of the modern Kyoto school.

He died in Kyoto on November 7, 1942, at the age of 62.

Sources: A Dictionary of Japanese Artists: Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints, Lacquer, Laurance P. Roberts, Weatherhill, 1976, p. 73; website of Independent Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage