Photo © Photography: John Tsantes and Neil Greentree © Robert Feinberg
Gallery Text

For much of his life, Buson himself was a poet—it was only out of financial necessity that he began to paint as he got older. He practiced short-form haikai poetry (commonly known as haiku), and his paintings are accordingly rooted not in the literati language of classical Chinese poetry but in the abbreviated imagery of this domestic genre, which celebrates the minutiae of everyday life. The persona of the solitary traveler features in some of Buson’s most memorable poems and paintings, moving through landscapes characterized by intense attention to the details of season, climate, and time of day.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Yosa Buson, Japanese (Settsu 1716 - 1784)
Visiting the Thatched Cottage in the Bamboo Grove
Work Type
painting, screen
c. 1777–78
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Two-panel folding screen; ink and color on paper
image only: H. 161.4 x W. 177 cm (63 9/16 x 69 11/16 in.)
with mount, flat: H. 177.2 x W. 193 cm (69 3/4 x 76 in.)
screen opened, flexed: W. 170 cm (66 15/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Yahanō sha
  • seal: top: Sha Chōkō
  • seal: bottom: Sha Shunsei
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Asahi Shimbusha, ed., Buson, sono futatsu no tabi, exh. cat. (Tokyo, 2001), #63, p. 119

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, exh. cat., Yomiuri Shinbunsha (Tokyo, 2013), pp. 78-79, cat. 27

Rachel Saunders and Yukio Lippit, Painting Edo: Selections from the Feinberg Collection of Japanese Art, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, 2020), p. 57, fig. 44

Exhibition History

Buson: The Two Journeys, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 02/06/2001 - 03/18/2001; Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, 04/10/2001 - 05/20/2001

The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, 05/21/2013 - 07/15/2013; Miho Museum, 07/20/2013 - 08/18/2013; Tottori Prefectural Museum, 10/05/2013 - 11/10/2013

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/04/2015 - 11/29/2015

Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/14/2020 - 07/18/2021

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at