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Azuma Tôyô (1755-1839) & Ban Kôkei (1733-1806)
Snow pine
Signed: Tôyô, Kôkei dai
Seals: Tôyô
Technique: sumi on paper 121,8 x 36,4
Mounting: bronze damask and light blue silk
black lacquered rollers, 197 x 38,5
Condition: very good

The poem, a waka reads:
雪とともに/としもちとせを/重ねなむ/ しろき/ の谷松
Yuki totomoni / toshi mo mochi tosewo / ..shiraki / no tani matsu
Together with the snow
Long, long years will
Pile up:
... pines in the valley

Tôyô was born in Mutsu province. He went to Kyoto in the early 1770s to study with Kanô Baishô (Moronobu) (1729-1808). Later he moved to Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-1795) and Go Shun (1752-1811). Tôyô received many commissions from the imperial court and was awarded the title of hôgen for his services. After more than thirty years in the Capital he returned to the provinces to become official painter to the domain of Sendai.

Sendai City Museum 2005
Roberts p. 185
Araki p. 953
Kyoto '98 p. 266
Hillier pp. 147-149

Ban Kôkei was the only son in a wealthy family of Ômi merchants. At the age of eight he was adopted as successor to the main branch of the house in Ômi Hachiman; he succeeded at eighteen. He studied waka with Mushanokôji Saneoka. In 1768 he retired and took the tonsure. He settled in Kyoto and started to teach Japanese studies and waka. He became a popular figure in Kyoto’s intellectual circles.