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TOKYO

‘Essays in Idleness: Enjoying Classical Literature Through Art’

Suntory Museum of Art

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

The collection of essays “Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness)” written by Yoshida Kenko in 1330-31 is considered as one of the three greatest zuihitsu (collection of writings) in Japan, along with “Makura no Soshi (The Pillow book)” by Sei Shonagon and Kamo no Chomei’s “Hojoki (An Account of My Hut).” However, it was not until the Keicho Era (1596-1615) that “Tsurezuregusa” first became critically acclaimed and not until the Edo Period (1603-1867) when it was widely read and studied. During this time it also became the subject of artworks known as tsurezure-e.

Various types of tsurezure-e, including picture scrolls, folding screens and picture books, are on display for an exhibition that presents visitors with a pictorial experience of one of Japan’s greatest literary works. Some of the artworks will change during the exhibition period; June 11-July 21.

Suntory Museum of Art; Tokyo Midtown Galleria 3F, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku,Tokyo. Roppongi Stn. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Fri., Sat. till 8 p.m.) ¥1,300. Closed Tue. 03-3479-8600; www.suntory.com/sma