mjj (flemmings) wrote,

You know, I don't think I've ever seen a copy of Yoshitoshi's Sotoba no Komachi for sale and I probably wouldn't have bought it in my giddy thirties even if I had. But that's really a wonderful picture. This is the great beauty Ono no Komachi, she of the famous hana no iro:

as the color of the blossoms
has lost its luster
to no avail
so I have passed through life
gazing at the rains

'heartless beauty mourns her futile life and her vanished beauty' etc etc.

Yes, well-- *look* at her. In Yoshitoshi's picture she's smiling. Possibly 'I can smile at the old days/ I was beautiful then' but equally possibly 'there's still beauty left around me and it ain't bad at all.'
Tags: art, japan, verse

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