K018 Zen Fuji by Nantenbō Tōjū, 南天棒

 

南天棒鄧州
八十四翁
為藤木氏清嘱
富士の画作
乃木大将作
此神
人傑
地霊
風景
区々
休説
旭影
金波
東海
千秋
富嶽
中天
The peak of Fuji pierces the heavens,
Draped with the snow of a thousand years.
Tinted with the golden rays of the rising sun of Tōkai,
It floats serenely (above the clouds).
Leave off from trying to extol its incomparable beauty—
This heroic symbol of our sacred land.
Poem composed by General Nogi
For a painting of Mt. Fuji (by Nantenbō)
Brushed at the request of Mr. Fujiki
(signed) the 84-year old fellow
Nantenbō Tōjū

 

Nantenbō (南天棒, 1839-1925)
K018 hanging scroll, sumi on silk 33.6 cm × 69.0 cm.

 

On 15 January, 1911*, Nantenbō was invited to General Nogi’s residence for a New Year Visit. Nantenbō brushed a painting of Mt. Fuji and General Nogi inscribed it with the above poem. Thereafter, Nantenbō often used that poem as an inscription on many of the Mt. Fuji paintings he brushed. The brushwork on this piece is especially fine, and the painting ranks among the very best examples of Nantenbō’s Zen art.* In his memoirs, Nantenbō gives the date 1911 (Meiji 44) but on some of the paintings the date 1910 (Meiji 43) is given.