A picture is worth a thousand words. But, it seems, some settle for just 31 syllables. Or something like that.

In this new exhibition, the Nezu Museum brings together works of art and craft that have been inspired by waka, the traditional Japanese form of poetry that consists of just 31 syllables (broken up over five lines to 5-7-5-7-7).

Consisting of 30 works of calligraphy, folding-screen paintings, gold-lacquered boxes and tea-ceremony utensils — nine of which are registered Important Cultural Properties — the exhibition shows how artists and craftspeople from the Heian Period (794-1185) through the Edo Period (1603-1867) have created works illustrating or related to written verse; Jan. 9- Feb. 16.

Nezu Museum; 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Omotesando Stn. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Mon. 03-3400-2536; www.nezu-muse.or.jp


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