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8. Yosa Buson (1716-1783)
Rantei, at the orchid pavillon
Signed: Tôsei Sha Chôkô hitsu
Seals: Sha Chôkôin, Sanka Koji
Technique: colours on silk, 122 x 51.5
Mounting: blue damask
194 x 62.4
Box: double
Condition: very good

Not relevant but nice to add is a “copy” from 1804 by Yokoi Kinkoku (1761-1832), “Ômi Buson” who found a lot of inspiration in studying the works of is old fellow-citizen. Published Ken Yokoya, “Baitei & Kinkok”, Ôtsu 2008 nr. 142.

Rantei, gathering of poets at the Orchid pavilion is a theme popular amongst bunjin. It is derived from a painting from 1671 by Fan I, an early Ch'ing dynasty painter from Nanking, which was already in Japan in 1707 (and which was eventually acquired by Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924)).

The scene is representative of the famed 'Lanting gathering' at the Orchid Pavillion at the foot of Mt. Huiji in Zhejiang province, China. In the spring of the year 353 the renowned calligrapher Wang Xizhi invited 41prominent men to a poetry party. Sitting on the banks of a slowly winding stream, the guests at the Orchid Pavillion (Rantei) were asked to compose a poem as cups of wine, were floating down the stream.
They had to complete their poem before the cup was within their reach. The penalty for not completing the poem on time was to drink the wine. The participants managed to create 37 poems on the day. (Zeno)

Wang Hsi-chih (321-379) (Wang Xizhi) is considered one of the most influential calligraphers from China. He is usually depicted in the company of a white goose, because the movement of his brush was compared to the way a goose moves through water. Absent in this painting, but another variant, is that his white goose eventually turned black, as a result of his brushes being cleaned in the water.
In the year 353 Wang invited forty-two scholar poets to celebrate the Spring Purification Festival at the Orchid pavilion. We see the guests engaged in a poetry and drinking contest along the bank of a stream. Servants set out wine-filled cups on lotus leaves to float down the stream. Whenever one of the wine cups hit the bank the guest was required to compose a poem and empty the cup. (Tinios)

Buson was a painter as well as a haiku poet and equally proficient in both disciplines. Together with Taiga (1723-1776) he is known as one the establishers of Nanga painting and the bunjin movement; as a haiku poet he is considered the true successor of Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) and along with Bashō and Kobayashi Issa (1763–1828), he is regarded among the greatest poets of the Edo Period.
Apart from his landscapes, he is notable for the empathy and social-mindedness of his paintings of human figures.

Buson was born in the village of Kema in Settsu Province (now Kema-chō, Miyakojima Ward in Osaka city).
Around the age of 20, Buson moved to Edo accompanying Hayano Hajin (Yahantei) (1676–1742), a haiku student of Enomoto Kikaku (1661–1707) who had studied with Bashô. After Hajin died, Buson moved to Ibaraki prefecture and in 1743 travelled to northern Honshū following in the footsteps of Bashō on “The Narrow Road to the Interior”, Oku no Hosomichi. After his retrurn at the age of 36 (1751) Buson returned to Kyoto to study paintings and became strongly influenced by Sakaki Hyakusen (1698-1752). Six years later he definately settled down in Kyoto and married three years later. In 1772 Go Shun (1752-1811) and Ki Baitei (1734-1810) moved in as uchi deshi (resident student). The last decade he suffered severe illness problems. At the end of his life both Go Shun and Baitei returned to help him and his family.

Buson Zenshû vol. 6
Itsuo 2003
Miho 2008
Miho 2015
French ‘74