Digital Japanese History

絵本水や空、耳鳥斎 画、3冊 (合1冊) ; 23cm、平安、八文字屋八左衛門、安永9 [1780]、、出典:国立国会図書館「NDLイメージバンク」 (

Ono Tsūjo was the attendant to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and a famous painter and calligrapher. She particularly excelled in the nyohitsu (woman’s brush) technique, a style created by nobles in the Heian period and popularised during the seventeenth century, which was a type of fluid yet refined calligraphy. Her chosen method was ink, and she specialised in portraits of figures produced alongside classical poetry. This combination of imagery alongside writing is characteristic of Edo period artworks, meaning Tsūjo was one of the first prominent female artists of the time to emulate this style.