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Subject:translate text on scroll
Posted By: Ger Thu, May 25, 2023 IP: 2a02:a46d:cada:1:e55

This Japanese scroll is dated 1913, 癸丑, 大正二年 .
I think it shows a Japanese playing a red haired westerner with a Chinese watching the game.
What does the text say?

Some one suggested the westerner is Russian and the scroll refers to the Russian-Japanese war that ended 8 years earlier.
It would be curious since the westerner plays white and is thus suggested to be the stronger player. But then the Japanese captured a lot of stones...

Thanks very much for giving it a try - partial results are very welcome too.

Subject:Re: translate text on scroll
Posted By: I.Nagy Fri, May 26, 2023

In an instant the full board shook with dignity
The morning sun was high and the white dew could not be seen
The unfortunate brooding gulls woke from their spring dreams
At the frightening sound of gong the waves of attack accelerated
In the Year of Water-Ox (1913) on a Summer Day,
at Heian*
Picture and Inscription by Ryūsen
Upper seal,
龍泉 Ryūsen
Lower seal,
龍泉画印 Picture Seal of Ryūsen

The poem is full of allusions and implications to the Russo-Japanese war.
In a somewhat different reading and interpretation:
In an instant the whole Manchurian Basin shook with dignity
The morning sun (ref.Japan) was high and white Russians could not be seen
The unfortunate..... (ref.Chinese)

* Heian: Old name of Kyōtō

As I am away from my reference library for a good half a year, I'll have to rely on the internet, where I can't find a painter by the name Ryūsen.

With regards,

Subject:Re: translate text on scroll
Posted By: Ger Fri, May 26, 2023

Thanks very much!

The allusions and implications make it a complicated puzzle. Especially because they might refer to circumstances of that time, maybe forgotten by now.

As to the painter I only found 柳原龍泉 but pictures on the internet in my opinion show a different style, signature and seal.

Subject:political implications
Posted By: peter Sat, May 27, 2023

while we do not know the occasion this was created for, for an understanding its probably better to widen the view to the general political situation in Eastern Asia in the early 20th century.
the subject matter is a traditionally Chinese board game there the goal is to establish positions and not to capture the stones. in this the Russian fails to get the point and the Chinese (who had invented the game) at least starts to show some interest again, while the Japanese is the obvious master.
this commented with a poem in traditional Chinese style...


Subject:Re: political implications
Posted By: Ger Sat, May 27, 2023

The picture shows it is the Japanese who captured a lot of white stones, held in the lid of his bowl. The Russian is seen playing a white stone which could indicate he was supposed to be the stronger player. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |