Kiyomizu Rokubei | Letter
Maybe Rokubei was sitting on his veranda when he wrote this letter. For sure he was in his late sixties and retired. Due to health issues over the years his son has informally been running the family business since 1902 and finally in 1913 was officially installed as his father's successor, as the 5th generation Rokubei. - The letter is addressed to Kitamura-san, whom Rokui calls "Gakei", colleague, partner, and friend.
"Please excuse me for skipping the greeting.
I am terribly sorry that I could not see you when you repaired my veranda. Moreover, I am sorry to have bothered you with it. I am so grateful that you have done it. And I am also grateful that you offered me the wood. Thank you very much for your work. I should have shown my gratitude earlier but it had been a busy time. Please forgive me.
This silly piece [= the drawing of the mallet of luck] is done no good. It's not even good enough to decorate your kitchen. - It is my earnest prayer being answered. I am always at your service, please take care. - 1st of March, Rokui* to Kitamura Gakei." - [*Rokui - Rokubei retired in 1913 in favor of his son, and took the name Rokui.]
Kiyomizu Rokubei IV (1848-1920)
Letter, after 1913
Ink on paper
17.5 x 79.5 cm (6 ¾ x 3 ¼ in.)
Mounting 120.5 x 83 cm (47½ x 32½ in.)