A four-case inrō depicting the seven sages in high relief as they indulge in their literary pursuits.
The sages and bamboo forest are in shades of gold, silver and red lacquer with the addition of aogai and gold foil. The sages’ clothes are elaborately embellished with various patterns in hiramaki-e.
The seven sages, a band of poets and scholars also referred to as the seven worthies, would meet in the bamboo forest near the country estate of the writer and alchemist Ji Kang, in Shanyang (near the modern day Henan province). Once there, they would write verses, enjoy copious amounts of wine and the freedom to express their opinions. Their retreat was typical of the Daoist-oriented Qīngtán (pure conversation) movement that advocated freedom of individual expression and hedonistic escape from the corrupt court of the day.
Signed, Koma Koryu
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