"One day Mr Maruyama came and added a turtle on a drawing I had done. There were some rocks but there was no water. The turtle looked like having a hard time on the ground. Thus I drew water to put his tail in.
A spotted Turtle.
Aoto doesn't understand
pure mountain water.
Buson - Drawn at Sanka-do, Okyo
To collaborate on a piece of art was a popular practice among intellectuals, poets, and painters. The generic term for such collaborative works is gassaku, literally made together, and gassaku are the wonderful results of long friendships and short visits.
And there is a receipt in the box. "7 yen 50 sen. Amount for Okyo hanging scroll mounting. Received." - Imai Shinshichi mounting artisan, 29th December. - For Mr Sakai"
A spotted turtle... - The spots on the turtle's back look like coins.
Aoto in Buson's poem is Aoto Fujitsuna. A noble retainer who paid 500 yen to find the 100 yen he dropped in a river. - Translation of the poem by Allan Persinger in: Foxfire: the selected poems of Yosa Buson a translation.
Maruyama Okyo (1733-1795)
and Yosa Buson (1716-1783)
Collaborative Painting (Gassaku)
Ink and color on paper
29.1 x 55.3 cm (11 ½ x 21 ¾ in.)
Mounting 123.5 x 69 cm (48 ½ x 27 in.)
Wooden box with inscription