Artist: Ohara Koson (小原古邨) / Shōson (祥邨)

Print: "Monkey in a Persimmon Tree" ("Kaki ni Saru")

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Dates: 1935,created
Dimensions: 9.5 in,11.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print

Signed: Shōson (祥邨)

Related links: University of Michigan;

Physical description:

A little monkey seated on a persimmon tree branch reaches for a persimmon quite near a wasp's nest. Illustrated Blair's 1936 "Toledo Exhibition" pl. #209; Crow, Cranes, and Camellias #S41.5.

Jerry Vegder wrote:

    There is an exhibition right now of Edo Period paintings from the Price collection showing at the Sackler Gallery on the Mall in Washington, D.C. One of the works is a hanging scroll by Mori Sosen (1747-1821: 森狙仙 or もり・そせん) of a monkey 'tracking' a wasp. In a review in the Washington Post (November 15, 2007) Joe Price notes that this image is actually a visually pun. The words for wasp and fiefdom rhyme - hachi and hochi - as do the words for monkey and lord.* The moral: Watch out! If you are given a fiefdom by your lord you might get stung.

    *My understanding of Japanese is not good enough to prove this concept right or wrong, but sometimes you just have to accept certain bits of information on faith. Besides, it sounds reasonable to me.

The publisher was Watanabe Shōzaburō.