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27. Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835)
Autumn scenery (returning geese)
Signed: Chikuden sei
Seals: Ken in, Chikuden
Technique: colours on paper 113,4 x 26
Mounting: light grey damask
187 x 32
Box: Authorised in 1924 by Tanaka Hakuin (1866-1934)
Condition: very good

The inscription reads: 二十五弦彈月夜 / 不勝清怨却飛來

The twenty-five strings of the se fill the moonlit night,
Untouched by the plaintive song they continue their flight.

The closing lines of the poem Returning geese by the Tang poet Qian Qi (710–782)
The se is comparable with the koto.

Chikuden was trained as a doctor. Being only the second son, he received permission to give up the family occupation at 23 and was allowed to study Chinese poetry and painting. He was taught ethics and history at the school which was controlled by the lord of Oka and so he became the historian of Bungo province.
After Chikuden resigned in 1813 he started travelling and devoted himself to artistic pursuits. He studied painting with Watanabe Hôtô (1752?-1833) and poetry in Kyoto. In 1826 he moved to Nagasaki to study recently imported Chinese poetry. He ranked among the first of the bunjin Nanga painters. His pupils, especially his adopted son, Tanomura Chokunyû (1814-1907), carried on Chikuden’s legacy throughout the 19th and early 20th century.

Oita 1982
Oita 1999
Nihon no bijutsu kaiga kinshû Vol. 21
Berry & Morioka ’08 p. 302-03 (# 21)
Cahill p. 94 ff.
Roberts p. 13
Araki p. 638 ff.

Tanaka Hakuin (1866-1934) was the best pupil of Tanomura Chokunyû (1814-1907)