Abe no Nakamaro Gazing at the Moon from a Terrace (1833)⁠

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The Japanese nobleman Abe no Nakamuro (698-770) sits on the terrace of a Chinese palace, gazing out at the moon, while attendants arrive with food. ⁠

At the age of 16, he accompanied a fellow Japanese envoy to China, to discover and return with the secrets of Chinese timekeeping. Although they received a welcome reception by the Chinese emperor, they were refused permission to return home and were kept comfortably captive at the palace.⁠

Nakamuro adapted well, and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a regional governor.⁠

The scene represents Nakamaro's best-known poem, in which he expresses his desire to return to his home in Japan during a wistful moment of reflection.⁠

"When I look over heaven's plain I wonder;⁠
Is that the same moon that rose⁠
Over Mount Mikasa in Kasuga?"⁠

This print hails from the series: "A True Mirror of Chinese and Japanese Poems", published around 1833. A truly splendid series, it is known for its beautiful compositions, exceptional coloration, and high-culture subjects. In each of the ten designs that Hokusai made for the collection, he depicted classical poets in landscapes that they knew or referenced in one of their poems.⁠
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Japan

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  • @c_isa_e 20 July, 2019

    People and the Moon. Our connection to the Moon always has bee special. To it at the Moonlight... Must be a magical moment. 💜 .