Ota Nampo | Daruma painting and poem
Born to a modest samurai family in Edo, Ota Nampo received a Confucian education, and by his middle teens he had not only succeeded to his hereditary position as castle guard but also published a study of Ming-dynasty poetic terms. He continued his studies in Chinese literature all his life but became more famous for gesaku (writing for fun) under the name Shokusanjin. He especially enjoyed the humorous five-section kyoka (mad poem), which has the same 5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure as waka but is satiric in content. Although Nampo gave up this form for a time when the government forbade samurai to attend kyoka parties, he remained the quintessential master of this genre, which required both with and erudition. (Stephen Addiss: 77 Dances, Japanese Calligraphy by Poets, Monks, and Scholars, 1568-1868, p.44.)
Turn to me and look.
In this world
There are the beauties of the four seasons -
Sake and music.
Ya yo daruma
chito kochira muke
Yo no naka wa
tsuki yuki hana ni
sake to shamizen
Ota Nampo (1749-1823)
Ink on paper
27.2 x 49.2 (10 3/4 x 19 1/4 in.)
Mounting: 107.5 x 57.5 cm (42 1/4 x 22 1/2 in.)