• Chinese boy feeding a dragon
Chinese boy feeding a dragon
Chinese boy feeding a dragon

Kubo Shunman (窪俊満) (artist 1757 – 1820)

Chinese boy feeding a dragon


7.48 in x 5.59 in (Overall dimensions) color woodblock print
Sealed: Shunman
Harvard Art Museums
Harvard Art Museums - a similar suimono by Hokkei of the same theme A young boy feeds a small dragon kept in a large porcelain bowl. He is seated on a typical Chinese drum stool, possibly made of bamboo. Behind him is a screen with a blue and white porcelain landscape plaque. Also, notice that the bowl is somewhat translucent and that the lower part of the dragon can be seen through its outer surface.

There is liberal use of metallic inks and embossing.

"Dragons abound in both Japanese and Chinese mythology. A dragon emerging from a bowl is usually associated with the recluse, arhat, Handaka Sonja. However, the man in this design barely resembles an arhat. The allusion is thus probably to Ka Shinjin (?) who cured a sick dragon...

Two poems by Bairyūtei and Kanzanrō. Both poems refer to the Garyōume, the old plum tree growing at Komeido Shrine..."

Illustrated and quoted from: Surimono in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam by Matthi Forrer, p. 55.


Kit Brooks in her 2017 doctoral dissertation from Harvard noted that Shunman had established a workshop especially devoted to the production of surimono prints for poetry clubs. He was best known for this and very few ukiyo-e designs were created by comparison.
surimono - 摺物 (genre)