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Gallery Text

Two of Japan’s most famous peaks—Mount Fuji to the west of Edo and Mount Tsukuba to the northeast—are depicted on the recto and verso of this fan by School of Kōrin painter Suzuki Kiitsu. In the early modern era, Mount Fuji was conventionally depicted snowy white, its summit divided into three peaks. Mount Tsukuba was painted blue with two peaks. Kiitsu wittily takes advantage of the transparency of the fan paper by allowing the silhouette of each mountain to define the form of the other: when held to the light, the snow line of Fuji reveals itself also to be the profile of Tsukuba, painted on the reverse. Similarly, Fuji appears to loom behind Tsukuba, suggesting that the fictive viewing position is Edo itself, safeguarded between the two sacred mountains.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Suzuki Kiitsu, Japanese (Omi Province 1796 - 1858)
Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba
Work Type
painting, fan
c. 1835-43
Creation Place: East Asia, Japan
Edo period, 1615-1868
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Folding fan; ink, color, silver and gold on paper
opened max.: 33.5 x 51 x 1.5 cm (13 3/16 x 20 1/16 x 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: side "Mount Tsukuba," in black ink: Taihoku Kanasugi Isandō
  • seal: round: Teihakushi
  • seal: urn-shaped: Genchō
  • inscription: side "Mount Fuji," in gold ink: Kaikaiken Kiitsu hitsu
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Double-sided fan with designs of Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba.
Publication History

Matthew McKelway, Kobayashi Tadashi, and Yasumura Toshinobu, Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828), exh. cat., Japan Society (New York, 2012), pp. 160-161, cat. 49

Exhibition History

Silver Wind: the Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828), Japan Society, New York, 09/29/2012 - 01/06/2013

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/03/2015 - 06/07/2016

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

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

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