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Subject:Difficult Woodblock Seal Challenge
Posted By: J. Boussinesq Sat, Dec 02, 2017 IP:

This is a challenge that has led to many dead ends. I have a small Japanese woodblock print of sparrows and rice sheaves with a faint seal (with some damage) that can not yet be identified. A picture with an enhanced version of the seal is attached.

I will be greatly impressed, and impressively grateful, to anyone who can decipher this; and will take away Bob Dylan's Nobel prize and award it to whoever can solve this mystery. Bob is fine with this, because he didn't really want the award anyway.

J. Boussinesq

Subject:Re: Difficult Woodblock Seal Challenge
Posted By: mikeoz Sat, Dec 02, 2017

Interesting. Can't suggest Japanese pronunciation. Maybe a 'pen-name'.


光 - Light, brightness

磬 - A stone chime

之 - this, (possessive)

詩 - Poetry, poem.

Subject:Re: Difficult Woodblock Seal Challenge
Posted By: I.Nagy Sun, Dec 03, 2017

The seal reads one way:
元穀之詩  Poem of Motoki or Motoyoshi
First I can not find any Japanese poet with this name,
second, why to put a seal like this on a picture apparently without any poem written on.

However, rather plausible explanation is that, it could be the "title" itself:
Genkoku no Shi - "Poem of the prime grain" (Rice)

Thank you in advance for Bob Dylan`s Nobel Prize.

With regards,

Subject:Re: Difficult Woodblock Seal Challenge
Posted By: J. Boussinesq Mon, Dec 04, 2017

Dear Mikeoz and I. Nagy,

Thank you for the help. Bob says stop by any time for the Nobel: he thinks it is in a box somewhere in the back of a closet, but will have to look. In a great coincidence, "Poem of the prime grain" is the working title of his new album. It is, however, possible that his preferred grain is not rice.

As always, I am thankful and greatly impressed.

J. Boussinesq | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |