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- Ushiro sugata no shigurete ikuka, Santoka (I wonder if my back is also being rained on by the winter rain) -

Kan Kozaki


The wonderful woodblock print 'Ushiro sugata no shigurete ikuka, Santoka' ("I wonder if my back is also being rained on by the winter rain") is by Kan Kozaki (b. 1942) and is printed on delicate, tasteful Japanese washi paper. This print depicts the lonely back of a monk walking after rain at sunset. A large tree with almost no leaves is placed in the foreground, dwarfing the monk far away on the path and creating a sense of perspective that lends the work an even more nostalgic feel. The title is a haiku by Santoka Taneda, a revered poet of the early 20th century. This print is not only visually stunning but also carries deeper meaning. The haiku, also the title of this print, translates to English as: "I wonder if my back is also being rained on by the winter rain."  To explain in a bit more detail, we cannot see our own back. Santoka was very conscious of "how others see me." In this poem, he is mocking himself as he imagines his back being seen by others.

Technique: Woodblock
Paper size: 10 and 5/8 x 14 and 1/4 inches (27 x 36.4 cm)
Image size: 9 x 11 and 1/4 inches (22.8 x 28.7 cm)
Sheet number: 88/100
Date: 1988-1989
Signed: Hand-signed in pencil by the artist
Condition: Excellent condition. (Previously, the corners of the verso were pasted.) 


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