Honoring Itō Jakuchū

Elegant lines betray a grace of hand,
As colors emblazon the painted sky.
Feathers flutter in a delicate breeze
Composed of diaphanous strokes.

Incandescent light shines serenely through
Lacquered dye of a luminescent moon
As cranes soar through swirls of a midnight sky,
Caught in an ephemeral flight.

Layers of gossamer snow softly blanket
Writhing tangles of dark, sinewy limbs–
Pricked with berries like drops of crimson blood
And flowers with petals that blush.

Where once only negative space was found,
Breathes vibrant and colorful life!


One thought on “Honoring Itō Jakuchū

  1. This poem was inspired by Itō Jakuchū’s works in “Pictures of the Colorful Realm of Living Beings” (1757 – 1765). It is currently on display at the National Museum of Art in Washington, DC and is the first time that it has been displayed outside of Japan. The works are vibrant and beautiful with amazing attention to detail and texture.

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