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Loan Object
Artist: Konoe Nobutada, Japanese, 1565–1614

Daily Tenjin (Nikka Tenjin)

1609

Hanging scroll, ink on paper, with metal or silver rollers

with mounting: 75 3/8 × 14 in. (191.5 × 35.5 cm)
without mounting: 29 11/16 × 14 in. (75.4 × 35.5 cm)
Collection of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, LL.B. 1963
ILE2009.10.2
The inscription along the top of this portrait of Sugawara no Michizane (also known as the Heaven Deity at Kitano, or Kitano Tenjin) roughly reads, “[Kitano Tenjin] is one to whom the destiny of the empire may be entrusted. If there is sincerity of mind, even without prayers, the gods will provide.” Tenjin has long been worshipped as a god of scholarship who helps students pass examinations, and Konoe Nobutada drew daily portraits of the god as part of his devotion to this deified historical figure from the ninth century C.E. Considered a great man of letters, Nobutada was one of the three celebrated calligraphers of the Kan’ei era, during the first half of the seventeenth century. With his sure handling of the brush, he used just a few strokes to create the outline of the figure, the style of which is echoed in the swift calligraphy above the image.
Geography: 
Japan
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Purchased from T. Yanagi, Kyoto, 1979. Ex-collection Imadegawa Yuko, Shiga Prefecture.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.