Tanomura Chokunyu | Letter
Respectfully I write you this letter. I wanted to see and greet you. But I was late and then the white winter fell. And I drew some worthless things [the Okiagari-Koboshi]. I would love to visit you and draw some more soon. - January 1st, Tanomura. To Mr Hisai.
Roly-poly toys are fun but a little out of fashion. In Japan they are still popular. The Okiagari-Koboshi, "the standing up little monk" is a good-luck charm particularly popular at New Year for the ability to always return to an upright position when tipped over. In doing so he became a representative symbolic image of being successful, overcome hardship, and recover from misfortune.
Tanomura Chokunyu in his letter throws in a bunch of Okiagari-Koboshi who underline the dynamic artistic gesture of this wonderful calligraphic composition.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907)
Ink on paper
14 x 54 cm (5½ x 21¼ in.)
Mounting 98 x 59.5 cm (38 ½ x 23 ½ in.)