It seems to be a cloud of smoke
But as I come closer
To the old house
Of my ancient village
I see it is a billowing willow.
keburi to mishi wa
mukashi no yado no
yanagi nari keri
Fresh budding willows (aoyanagi) represent the renewal of spring. There is a contrast here between the new buds and the old house and ancient village. The brushstrokes of the calligraphy also seem to be fluttering in the wind similar to the willow branches. This is one of Rengetsu's finest pieces, with the painting and calligraphy perfectly integrated.
Age: Edo - Meiji Period 19th Century
Size: painting 25-1/2" x 7-3/4", (65 x 20 cm), overall 58-1/8" x 14-1/8" (148 x 36 cm)
Media: Ink on paper